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New Law Extends Statute of Limitations for Child Sex Crimes in Kentucky

Published on Apr 22, 2021 at 8:07 am in Sexual Crimes.

Sexual Assault Attorney

In an effort to uphold the rights of sexual abuse victims, Kentucky has extended the statute of limitations that allows child sex victims to pursue legal action against an agency or corporation after they turn 18 with House Bill 472.

While the new law has the potential to help child sex victims hold abusers accountable, it does not change the fact that Kentucky leads the nation with the highest child abuse rate. According to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Kentucky had 20,130 reported child abuse cases in 2019.

Prior to House Bill 472, agencies like police departments and other corporations could only be held accountable for child sex crimes in Kentucky for up to one year after the victim turned 18. The new law extends the statute of limitations to ten years.

This change comes after the story of Samantha Killary made headlines. At four years old, her adopted father, Sean Jackman, began sexually abusing her. At the time, Jackman was an LMPD spokesperson.

It wasn’t until Killary turned 23 that she started looking into ways to hold her abuser accountable. Now, Jackman is serving a six-year sentence after admitting to sexually abusing Killary. While Jackman admitted to incest, sodomy, and sexual abuse and was denied parole, Kentucky law keeps his pension intact.

According to Killary’s lawsuit, other individuals in the LMPD were aware the abuse was taking place. The suit claims that Jackman’s former lieutenant, Linda Thompson, participated in the abuse. Jackman’s father, who was also an officer, told his son to stop the abuse but failed to file any reports. With the old statute of limitations, neither officer was held accountable for any wrongdoings because the one-year limitation had already passed.

In an interview with Wave 3 News, Killary said, “I hope that this new legislation makes people stop and think before not reporting.” Killary has published a book, “Out of the Blue,” which details her experience and the courage it takes to speak out as a survivor of child sex abuse.

In addition to House Bill 472, Governor Beshear recently signed House Bill 254 into law—which will help law enforcement better protect Kentucky’s children by increasing penalties against predators who possess, view, or distribute sexually exploitative materials of minors under the age of 12.

If you have a reason to believe a child is being harmed, you can notify local police, call 1-800-752-6200, or file an online report.

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Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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