Besides jail, two things keep kids safe from child predators - publicly exposing predators and deterring others from concealing their crimes. There's no better way to do this than by reforming archaic, arbitrary, predator-friendly laws like the statute of limitations.
Dozens of states have done this in recent years. South Dakota, however, has gone backwards. Its lawmakers made kids more vulnerable, not less vulnerable, to child molesters. They have made life harder, not easier, for child sex victims. Representative Hickey's bill can reverse this.
When adults know they can be penalized for wrongdoing, they're apt to avoid wrongdoing. But when some adults know they'll never face litigation for acting recklessly and deceitfully, they'll be tempted to act recklessly and deceitfully. That's one reason so many child molesters violate dozens and dozens of kids - because their employers have often escaped any consequences for ignoring or hiding their crimes. This must stop.
Kids are safest when child predators are imprisoned. But when that can't be done, the next best approach is to publicly expose child molesters through our civil justice system. This measure helps that happen. It will make South Dakota a safer place for children, not for child predators.
We beg legislators to vote to safeguard vulnerable kids, not complicit adults.