Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Thank you for supporting UPR’s spring member drive! We are still working on the final stretch to reach our goal. Help us get there! GIVE NOW

Utah House Votes On Childhood Sexual Abuse Bill


HB 279 passed in the House Friday, sponsored by Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan. The bill would change the law to allow those who were sexually abused as children to bring forward claims against their perpetrators until the victim is 53 years old.

Ivory sponsored a bill last year that was enacted saying victims cannot bring forward claims about childhood sexual abuse unless they are younger than 22 years old. He said he's learned from his mistake.

“We left so many children, now surviving adults, people behind,” he said.

Ivory said it takes victims until they are 42 years old on average before to speak out about childhood sexual abuse. The current bill gives a window of time to bring forward those claims that would otherwise slip through the cracks of state laws.  

“In Utah we are making steps to make sure that we protect the most innocent and the most vulnerable among us, so that they don’t have to live a lifetime with their childhood innocence murdered by adults they trust,” Ivory said.

Ivory said the overall fiscal cost of childhood sexual abuse in Utah is nearly $1 billion every year. Not to mention, the human cost is estimated to be one in four girls and one in six boys who are sexually assaulted before age 18.

Representative Earl Tanner raised a concern about HB 279 on the floor today.

“So much time has passed that you can’t further try the case anymore,” he said. “ “Obviously that is going to be an issue.

H.B. 279 passed in the House with 58 votes in favor, 12 against and 5 abstentions. The bill will now go to the Senate and will be sponsored by Senator Adams Stuart.