California Removes Statute Of Limitations On Rape

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California passed a law Wednesday removing the state's 10-year statute of limitations for filing of child molestation and rape charges. Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law without comment, and it will take effect next year, according to the AP.

SB 813, the new law, will remove the statute of limitations for certain cases as well as ending the time limit on those cases for which the statute has not yet expired. The law will not apply to cases already more than ten years old.

That means for people like those allegedly assaulted by comedian Bill Cosby, the law will have no effect. Cosby was the inspiration for the law, according to the AP report.

State Senator Connie Leyva, who introduced the bill, said it heralded a new era.

SB 813 "tells every rape and sexual assault victim in California that they matter and that, regardless of when they are ready to come forward, they will always have an opportunity to seek justice in a court of law," Sen. Leyva, D-Chino, said in a statement. "Rapists should never be able to evade legal consequences simply because an arbitrary time limit has expired. There must never be an expiration date on justice!"

The California Women's Law Center tells the AP that 17 other states are without a statute of limitations on the report of rape.

Gloria Allred, lawyer for more than 30 women alleging sexual misconduct against Cosby, issued a statement in favor of the law to The Hollywood Reporter.

"The passage of this new law means that the courthouse doors will no longer be slammed shut in the face of rape victims," she said. "It puts sexual predators on notice that the passage of time may no longer protect them from serious criminal consequences for their acts of sexual violence."
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