☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 537

< > Effective - 28 Aug 2004, highlighted 1     bottom

  537.046.   Childhood sexual abuse, injury or illness defined — action for damages may be brought, when. — 1.  As used in this section, the following terms mean:

  (1)  "Childhood sexual abuse", any act committed by the defendant against the plaintiff which act occurred when the plaintiff was under the age of eighteen years and which act would have been a violation of section 566.030, 566.040, 566.050*, 566.060, 566.070, 566.080*, 566.090, 566.100, 566.110*, or 566.120*, or section 568.020;

  (2)  "Injury" or "illness", either a physical injury or illness or a psychological injury or illness.  A psychological injury or illness need not be accompanied by physical injury or illness.

  2.  Any action to recover damages from injury or illness caused by childhood sexual abuse in an action brought pursuant to this section shall be commenced within ten years of the plaintiff attaining the age of twenty-one or within three years of the date the plaintiff discovers, or reasonably should have discovered, that the injury or illness was caused by childhood sexual abuse, whichever later occurs.

  3.  This section shall apply to any action commenced on or after August 28, 2004, including any action which would have been barred by the application of the statute of limitation applicable prior to that date.


(L. 1990 H.B. 1370, et al. § 3, A.L. 2004 H.B. 1055 merged with H.B. 1453 merged with S.B. 1211)

*Sections 566.050, 566.080, 566.110, and 566.120 were repealed by S.B. 693 in 1994.


Prosecution for sexual offense involving person seventeen or under to be commenced within twenty years of offense, 556.037

Statute of limitation in action for damages for sexual contact with person within third degree of consanguinity or affinity, 516.371

(1993) Expiration of statutes of limitation for tort actions created vested right in favor of defendants to be free from suit; therefore, to extent that section authorizes causes of action that would have been barred under statutes of limitation in effect prior to effective date of statute, statute contravenes, Art. I, Sec. 13, Mo. Const., constitutional prohibition against retrospective laws.  Doe v. Roman Catholic Diocese, 862 S.W.2d 338 (Mo.banc).

(2016) Section creates a cause of action only against the person who allegedly committed the abuse and does not provide a cause of action against non-perpetrators.  State ex rel. Heart of America v. McKenzie, 484 S.W.3d 320 (Mo.).

---- end of effective  28 Aug 2004 ----

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