Clarifying statute of limitations

| 01/06/2016

What is the statute of limitations on statutory rape in Grand Cayman?

I know of a young woman who got pregnant by a 15-year-old boy. She did not register the child in his name (of course). However, learning the circumstances of that child’s birth… I just want to know what can be done about a situation like this (if anything). Because our young men need to be protected as well.

Auntie’s answer: There is no statute of limitations in the Cayman Islands on what are called non-summary offences, which are the serious, indictable crimes. As a lawyer explained to me, only summary offences, which tend to be relatively minor (with the exception of some drug offences), come with a time limit on when charges can be laid. Summary offences are those that can be heard by a magistrate sitting alone, rather than a judge and jury.

An example of this is the offence of driving under the influence, which has a limitation period of six months.

Specific to your question, however, the lawyer explained that there is no charge of statutory rape in Cayman; that is a US term. In Cayman, someone can be charged with defilement, which is an indictable (non-summary offence) and therefore not restricted to a statute of limitations.

Just to clarify, offences in the Cayman Islands are classified as A (indictments that go to Grand Court), B (the accused can elect Grand or Summary Court, for an offence such as theft) and C (Summary Court only – such as for traffic offences).

Note: After receiving additional information, the original answer has been amended to the above version.


Category: Ask Auntie

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