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Legal

In Pennsylvania, there are time limits for reporting a sexual assault.  If you were:

  • 18 years old or older when you were assaulted, you have 12 years from when the assault happened to make a report.
  • Younger than 18 years old when you were assaulted, and your birthday is on or before August 27, 2002, you can make a report until your 30th birthday.
  • Younger than 18 years old when you were assaulted, and your birthday is after August 27, 2002, you can make a report until your 50th birthday.

If you decide to file a police report:

After you make a police report, the county prosecutor or district attorney’s office will decide if criminal charges should be filed against the offender.  If charges are filed, the case will begin to move through the legal process.

In order to make this decision, the prosecutor or district attorney must consider a few things:

  • Is there is enough evidence to prove that a crime happened?
  • Which charges, if any, can be filed?
  • Can guilt be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt” in court?

Related: Your local rape crisis center can provide a legal advocate to help you through the process

Related: Statute of limitations in civil cases

Related: Sexual Violence Protection Orders