Statutes of Limitations

Sexual Offense Statutes

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, § 13L Wanton or reckless behavior creating a risk of serious bodily injury or sexual abuse to a child

  • Punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 1/2 years

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, § 22 Rape

  • (a) If the act results in serious bodily injury, is committed by a joint enterprise or is committed during the commission or attempted commission of certain specified offenses, punishable by imprisonment for life in state prison or for any term of years.  If second or subsequent offense, not eligible for furlough, temporary release, etc., until at least 2/3 of such minimum sentence (or 2/3 of the aggregate of minimum term of several sentences) has been served
  • (b) Otherwise, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 20 years; and if second or subsequent offense, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years
  • If committed while being armed, punishable by imprisonment for not less than 10 years
  • If second or subsequent offense under this section, punishable by imprisonment for not less than 15 years

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, § 22A Rape of child (i.e., under 16 years of age)

  • Punishable by imprisonment for life in state prison or for any term of years

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, § 22 B Rape of child during commission of certain offenses or by use of force

  • Punishable by imprisonment for life in state prison or for any term of years not less than 15 years

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, §22C. Rape of a child through use of force by certain previously convicted offenders

  • Punishable by imprisonment for life in state prison or for any term of years not less than 20 years

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, § 23 Rape and abuse of child

  • Punishable by imprisonment for life or for any term of years or for any term in a jail or house of correction

Note: Certain 2011 legislation (2011 MA S.B. 879 (NS), 2011 Massachusetts Senate Bill No. 879, Massachusetts One Hundred Eighty-Seventh General Court (Jan 21, 2011); 2011 MA H.B. 510 (NS), 2011 Massachusetts House Bill No. 510; 2011 MA S.B. 884 (NS), 2011 Massachusetts Senate Bill No. 884; 2011 MA H.B. 2198 (NS), 2011 Massachusetts House Bill No. 2198; 2011 MA H.B. 3155 (NS), 2011 Massachusetts House Bill No. 3155) is pending that would revise certain minimum sentences imposed pursuant to Sections 13L, 22, 22A, 22B, 22C and 23 of chapter 265

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, § 23A Rape and abuse of child aggravated by age difference between defendant and victim or when committed by mandated reporters

  • Punishable by imprisonment for life in state prison or for any term of years not less than 10 years

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, § 23B Rape and abuse of child by certain previously convicted offenders

  • Punishable by imprisonment for life in state prison or for any term of years not less than 15 years

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, § 24 Assault with intent to commit rape

  • Punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 20 years or by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than 2 and a half years
  • If second or subsequent offense, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years
  • If committed while armed, punishable by imprisonment for not less than 5 years; if second or subsequent offense, for not less than 20 years
  • 2011 MA H.B. 490 (NS), 2011 Massachusetts House Bill No. 490—current proposed legislation would repeal this section

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 265, § 24B Assault on child with intent to commit rape

  • Punishable by imprisonment for life or any term of years; if offender over 18 commits subsequent offense, punishable by imprisonment for not less than 5 years
  • If committed while armed, punishable by imprisonment for not less than 10 years; if offender over 18 commits second or subsequent such offense, punishable by imprisonment for not less than 15 years

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272, § 2 Enticing away person for prostitution or sexual intercourse

  • Punishable by imprisonment in state prison for not more than 3 years or in jail for not more than 1 year, and/or by a fine of not more than $1,000

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272, § 3 Drugging persons for sexual intercourse

  • Punishable by imprisonment for not less than 10 years

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272, § 4 Inducing person under 18 to have sexual intercourse

  • Punishable by imprisonment in state prison for not more than 3 years or in a jail or house of correction for not more than 2 and a half years, and/or by a fine of not more than $1,000
  • 2011 MA H.B. 445 (NS), 2011 Massachusetts House Bill No. 445—current proposed legislation would repeal this section

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272, § 6 Owner of place inducing or suffering person to resort in such place for sexual intercourse

  • Punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 5 years and a $5,000 fine

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272, § 16 Open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior

  • Punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 3 years or in jail for not more than 2 years, or by a fine of not more than $300

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272, § 17 Incestuous marriage or sexual activities

  • Punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 20 years or in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years
  • 2011 MA H.B. 2196 (NS), 2011 Massachusetts House Bill No. 2196, and 2011 MA H.B. 480 (NS), 2011 Massachusetts House Bill No. 480—current proposed legislation would amend this section

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272, § 34 Crime against nature

  • Punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 20 years
  • 2011 MA H.B. 490 (NS), 2011 Massachusetts House Bill No. 490, Massachusetts One Hundred Eighty-Seventh General Court (Jan. 18, 2011), and 2011 MA H.B. 492 (NS), 2011 Massachusetts House Bill No. 492, Massachusetts One Hundred Eighty-Seventh General Court (Jan. 18, 2011)—current proposed legislation would amend this section

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272, § 35 Unnatural and lascivious acts

  • Punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1000 or by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or in jail or the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years
  • 2011 MA H.B. 490 (NS), 2011 Massachusetts House Bill No. 490, Massachusetts One Hundred Eighty-Seventh General Court (Jan. 18, 2011), and 2011 MA H.B. 492 (NS), 2011 Massachusetts House Bill No. 492, Massachusetts One Hundred Eighty-Seventh General Court (Jan. 18, 2011)—current proposed legislation would repeal this section

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272, § 35A Unnatural and lascivious acts with child under 16

  • Punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or in jail or the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years
  • If offender over 18 commits second or subsequent offense, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 5 years

 

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 277, § 63 Limitation of criminal prosecutions

  • No time limit for:
    • Wanton or reckless behavior creating a risk of serious bodily injury or sexual abuse to a child (ch. 265, § 13L)
    • Rape of a child (ch. 265, § 22A)
    • Rape of a child during commission of certain offenses or by use of force (ch. 265, § 22B)
    • Rape of a child through use of force by certain previously convicted offenders (ch. 265, §22C)
    • Rape and abuse of a child (ch. 265, § 23)
    • Rape and abuse of a child aggravated by age difference between defendant and victim or when committed by mandated reporters (ch. 265, § 23A)
    • Rape and abuse of a child by certain previously convicted offenders (ch. 265, § 23B)
    • Assault on a child under 16 years of age with intent to commit rape (ch. 265, § 24B)
  • but any indictment or complaint found and filed more than 27 years after the date of commission of such offenses must be supported by independent evidence that corroborates the victim’s allegation
  • For the following offenses, within 15 years after commission of the offense:
    • Rape (ch. 265, § 22)
    • Assault with intent to commit rape (ch. 265, § 24)
  • For incest (ch. 272, § 17), within 10 years after commission of the offense
  • For any other crime, within 6 years after commission of the offense
  • For the following offenses, if victim is under the age of 16 at the time of commission of the offense, the period of limitation will not begin until victim reaches 16 or the violation is reported to a law enforcement agency, whichever occurs earlier:
    • Rape (ch. 265, § 22)
    • Rape of child under 16 (ch. 265, § 22A)
    • Rape and abuse of child (ch. 265, § 23)
    • Assault on child under 16 with intent to commit rape (ch. 265, § 24B)
    • Enticing away person for prostitution or sexual intercourse (ch. 272, § 2)
    • Drugging persons for sexual intercourse (ch. 272, § 3)
    • Inducing person under 18 years of age  to have sexual intercourse (ch. 272, § 4)
    • Owner of place inducing or suffering person to resort in such place for sexual intercourse (ch. 272, § 6)
    • Incest (ch. 272, § 17)
    • Crime against nature (ch. 272, § 34)
    • Unnatural an lascivious acts (ch. 272,   § 35)
    • Unnatural and lascivious acts with child under 16  (ch. 272, § 35A)
  • Any period during which the defendant is not usually and publicly a resident within the commonwealth shall be excluded in determining the time limit
  • Certain 2011 legislation is pending that would amend this section
 

DNA EXCEPTION

None Specified

 

 
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