MURFREESBORO, Tenn (WTVF) — Victims of child sexual abuse are speaking out and they're asking lawmakers for change. They want the state to eliminate the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases. One Victim came forward 30 years after the abuse and it was told it was too late.
Scott Walker went to a detective and told him about the sexual abuse that happened to him in the late 1980s.
“When he tried to move forward with the case he was told by the DA that the statute of limitations have been reached and he couldn't do anything with it,” said Walker.
Walker was told that three years ago, and since then he made it a mission to change the laws. He is pushing to extend or eliminate all limitations.
“I decided to do something about what had occurred to me when I was a kid,” Walker said.
At just 12-years-old Walker became a victim.
“There was an older guy who befriended me on a bicycle and of course me being a kid on a bike I felt okay this is normal,” Walker said.
Walker says his friend became his abuser.
“When I was 12 and the abuse took place over and over again you automatically turn fearful of that person,” he said.
Over the years Walker said his mental health started to shatter. He found himself drinking alcohol at age 13, he battled with anxiety and trauma.
The statute of limitations are laws that set the maximum time after an incident in which a victim can take legal action.
Currently the state law says a child rape victim has no limitations if the crime was reported within three years.
If it wasn't reported, just 15 years. If it's sexual battery of a child, the statute is 25 years after the victim turns 18.
“Most people don't come forward until years and years later, and I think part of the reason of that is because of the shame that goes on along with it,” Walker said.
Walker's shame turned into triumph just this week.
“I get a call from someone in the DA's office and they said I think we found a way to move forward with this case, I think we can prosecute it and sure enough they did,” Walker said.
His alleged abuser, Robert Tarkington was arrested and will face criminal charges, but Walker says his fight for other victims will continue.