No statute of limitations on compensation claims for sex crimes

Protestors hold up signs during an anti-rape rally in Male' City. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

The government has published the Regulation on Prosecution in Sex Crimes, which lifts the statute of limitation on compensation claims for sex crimes.

The regulation was formulated under the Sexual Crimes Act, which stipulates the establishment of a system for dealing with sex crimes. The regulation sets down policies related to the courts’ responsibilities under the system.

The regulation does not set any time limitations of filing for compensation for sex crimes.

It states that even if the statute of limitations prevents criminal prosecution of sexual predators, victims may sue their assailants for compensation.

Under the regulation, courts are required to issue their ruling within six months such cases are submitted and registered, and that appellant courts must make a decision within 90 days appeals are registered.

Courts are also required to make arrangements to accommodate the victim and suspect separately in the courthouse to prevent further trauma.

Meanwhile, testimony from children must be taken outside the courtroom, in an environment they are comfortable in, in the presence of someone they know and trust. Audio and video of the testimony must be recorded, and in the event the suspect wishes to question them, the questions must be asked through a judge or official appointed by the court.

The regulation prohibits the media from identifying victims of sex crimes when reporting rape and sexual violence cases, as stipulated under Article 59 of Sexual Crimes Act.