California Ends Statute of Limitations for Rape

The high-profile allegations that Bill Cosby raped a series of women from the 1970s to present has inspired the California state legislature to remove the statute of limitations for the crime of rape. Previously, California state law prevents prosecution of a felony sexual offense if the sexual offense in question occurred 10 or more years previous. The bill, entitled, SB 813, was authored by California state Senator Connie Levya. The bill will go into effect January 1, 2017, but will not be applied retroactively. This means the bill will not help Cosby’s victims, one of whom has filed a civil suit in the state of California against Cosby for an assault which she alleges took place in 1974. However, the signing of the bill could have the potential to help prevent rapists from avoiding legal consequences. California is not the only state to have passed a bill like SB 813, and neighboring states Nevada and Colorado have extended the statute of limitations from 10 years to 20 years.

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