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Arizona Child Molestation Laws

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Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect

Arizona Rev. Stat. § 13-3620 sets forth a list of professionals required to report suspected child abuse or neglect (including sexual abuse) to authorities. The list includes medical and mental health care professionals, members of the clergy, parents and guardians, school personnel, and any other person who has responsibility for the care or treatment of minors. In addition, any other person who reasonably believes that a minor is a victim of abuse or neglect may report.

Reports must be made immediately. Failure to report may result in misdemeanor or felony charges.

Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

Arizona Rev. Stat. § 8-201 provides that the term ‘abuse’ includes:

  • Inflicting or allowing sexual abuse
  • Sexual conduct with a minor
  • Sexual assault
  • Molestation of a child
  • Commercial sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Incest
  • Child prostitution

The term ‘neglect’ includes:

  • Deliberate exposure of a child by a parent, guardian, or custodian to sexual conduct, as defined in § 13-3551, or sexual contact, oral sexual contact, sexual intercourse, bestiality, or explicit sexual materials
  • Any of the following acts committed by the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian with reckless disregard as to whether the child is physically present:
    • Sexual contact
    • Oral sexual contact
    • Sexual intercourse
    • Bestiality

Arizona Civil Statute of Limitations in Child Sexual Abuse Cases

Arizona has not codified a special statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases. However, Arizona courts have applied the state’s minority and disability (or “unsound mind”) tolling provisions (Arizona Stat. § 12-502) to extend the general two-year statute of limitations applied to tort cases (Arizona Stat. § 12-542).