Statute of limitation on child sex crimes and man accused of keeping woman sex slave for years in Florida

Date: 2010-03-11

by Dara Kam

Federal prosecutors in Florida are trying to keep a serial child molester behind bars in California for crimes George Joseph England allegedly committed in Palm Beach County.

England, now 65, is accused of buying then-five-year-old Jackie Zudis from her mother in Vietnam in the early 1970s. He claimed her as his adopted daughter and kept her as a sex slave for more than a decade, authorities say.

England sexually assaulted three of her young friends, skipped out of sentencing in California and lived for years in Florida — including Palm Beach County — using the fake name of a dead baby.

England never was charged because Zudis because never reported him until she was an adult, long after California’s statute of limitations had expired.

Like California, Florida has a statute of limitations on child molestation charges. But lawmakers are considering doing away with that restriction. Palm Beach County lawyer Michael Dolce, who is spearheading the effort, appealed to lawmakers this week to pass a measure that would allow adults like him to press charges against their rapists long after the crimes were committed.

Sen. Dave Aronberg, a Greenacres Democrat, is sponsoring a bill again (SB 870) this year that would do away with Florida’s current law giving victims of certain sex offenses, including “non-forcible rape” of children age 12 and older, until they are 21 to press charges. Lawsuits must be filed before the victim reaches age 26. A committee gave Aronberg’s measure an initial thumbs-up this week.

Read Eliot Kleinberg’s story about England and his Palm Beach County connection here. (Prosecutors: Man kept girl as sex slave in Palm Beach County and California article)

California prosecutors said the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office were filing an arrest warrant Thursday in Palm Beach County for crimes England allegedly committed against Jackie Zudis in Florida.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami declined to comment Thursday, but said it might have information Friday. An FBI spokeswoman did not return calls.


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