Statue of Limitations on Sex Crimes to Be Remove in Chile

By Mei Manuel, May 09, 2018 00:05 AM


On Thursday, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera proposed to the Chilean Congress to remove the statute of limitations on sex crimes in the country after the victims of a Catholic priest in the country met up with the Pope, seeking retribution for the crime.

Pinera called upon the lawmakers to pass the bill quickly because it would end the impunity in cases which now have a statute of limitations that vary between 5 to 10 years depending on the crime committed.

"Children that have been sexuallyabused have the right to defend themselves and to ensure justice is served," Pinera said during a speech in Santiago's presidential palace.

Pinera's proposal has been met positively by the victims of former Chilean priest and now notorious pedophile Fernando Karadima. Some of the victims who approved of the plan included the three who flew to Rome and urged Pope Francis to take action against several Chilean bishops involved in the case.

In 2011, Karadima was found guilty after a Vatican investigation verified claims of his crime of abusing boys in Santiago from 1970 to 1970. However, he did not face charges in the civilian courts because of the country's abbreviated statute of limitations.

One of the victims, James Hamiltion, said "This is a miracle. It's a huge advance. I'm very excited. I wasn't expecting this." Hamilton had earlier called the bishops who are involved in covering up the abuse criminals who deserve to be jailed.

It is still uncertain if the bill will be applied retroactively, or if it will only involve the crimes committed after it is passed.

The bill also coincides with the high profile case of a 20-month-old infant girl who was raped and murdered by a family member in Los Andes, which pushed for the enactment of more stringent laws against abuse.

According to the statistics from the Chilean government, more than 22,540 cases of sexual crimes happen in Chile or 3 crimes per hour.

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