"Prior to this new law, victims had 10 years to bring rape charges against their assailants. In the case of sexual assault against a child, the statute of limitations was the child’s 40th birthday."
If there had been more fanfare, the press might be referring to new California legislation as “The Cosby Law.” As it is, Governor Jerry Brown very quietly, and with little fanfare, signed the the bill yesterday, eliminating the statute of limitations on bringing criminal charges against rape suspects.
This means that if you are sexually assaulted in California after this law takes effect in January 2017, you have all the time you need to gather your strength to press charges.
And if you commit sexual assault? You will never be off the hook, asshole.
The bill was originally filed by State Senator Connie Leyva, who said that this new law “shows victims and survivors that California stands behind them, that we see rape as a serious crime, that victims can come forward and that justice now has no time limit.”
Prior to this new law, victims had 10 years to bring rape charges against their assailants. In the case of sexual assault against a child, the statute of limitations was the child’s 40th birthday.
These limits on prosecution meant that women like those currently suing actor Bill Cosby in civil court ran out of time to bring criminal charges against their attackers. Civil court is all they have left to get justice.
The new law states that "the prosecution of rape, sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts, continuous sexual abuse of a child, oral copulation, and sexual penetration, that are committed under certain circumstances, as specified, to be commenced at any time."
Opponents of the law say it could lead to false convictions since time can taint the memories of witnesses and survivors of assault. To which I say, "blah, blah, blah, fuck off." There’s no statute of limitations on murder, and rape is just as violent an offense. Hell, California doesn’t have a statute of limitation on embezzling public funds, so suck it up.
Rapists should be held accountable if their victims want accountability — no matter when they decide they want it.