Changes To Child Sex Crime Laws Lead To Arrest

11.1.2013
Words by Paul Fontaine
A man recently arrested for multiple counts of child sexual abuse might have escaped prosecution if he was arrested just ten years ago.

A man has recently confessed, on hidden camera, to having sexually abused about 50 children over the course of several decades. His arrest has prompted many of his former victims to step forward and press charges against him.

Former MP Ágúst Ólafur Ágústsson told radio show Reykjavík síðdegis that pressing these charges would likely not have been possible ten years ago.

In 2003, Ágúst submitted legislation to make sex abuse of a child a crime without a statute of limitations. While it took four attempts, in 2007 the most serious sex offenses against children were rendered prosecutable no matter how long ago they took place. He also pointed out that in neighbouring countries, these same crimes can be old enough to no longer be prosecutable.

"As far as I know, Iceland is the only country in the world where child sex crimes do not have a statute of limitations," he said.

Karl Vignir Þorsteinsson, the man who confessed to child sex abuse, is currently in police custody.

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