The entertainment world was shocked when on Oct. 7, TMZ leaked audio recordings of former '7th Heaven' actor Stephen Collins confessing to child molestation and indecency with at least three victims over several years.

But despite Collins' own confessions on the audio tapes recorded during therapy sessions with his estranged wife, Faye Grant, TMZ has learned that it is unlikely he will ever face prosecution for the crimes despite the on-going investigation.

Sources with the three law enforcements working on the cases -- the NYPD, the LAPD and the L.A. County's Sheriff's Office -- claim that because the incidents allegedly happened decades ago, the statute of limitations would likely prevent prosecutors from charging Collins with any crimes.

Grant alleges that Collins has also confessed to molestation during his '7th Heaven' years between 1996 and 2007, but unless that victim comes forward, too much time has passed to go after him in the other three cases.

The site adds that although Collins may never see court or jail time for the cases, he might still need to answer for them when his divorce trial takes place next month.