Statute of Limitations on Rape Cases Eliminated in California

Posted By Bill Nimmo & Raymond Gomez, Attorneys at Law || 3-Oct-2016

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill eliminating the existing statute of limitations on rape cases. The bill, which is believed to be influenced by the over 50 allegations of sexual assault made by different women against comedian Bill Cosby, states that acts of rape, sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts, sexual abuse of a child, sexual penetration, and oral copulation committed after January 1st, 2017 may be prosecuted at any time. Previously, felony sex offenses in California could only be prosecuted within 10 years of the date of the alleged offense unless new DNA evidence emerged, with offenses against minors being subject to prosecution up until the victim’s 40th birthday.

Initially proposed by Democrat Senator Connie Leyva of Chino, the measure is meant to encourage sexual assault victims to come forward regardless of when their assault occurred. “It shows victims and survivors that California stands behind them,” Senator Leyva said, “that we see rape as a serious crime, that victims can come forward and that justice now has no time limit.”

The bill has seen its fair share of opposition from both civil rights groups and public defenders, stating that the bill could potentially lead to an increase in false convictions due to the fading memories of victims and witnesses. Likewise, many have stated that the bill will disproportionally affect poor and minority defendants with little or no representation. “The statute of limitations is there for a reason,” said Natasha Minsker, director of the ACLU of California Center for Advocacy and Policy. “When a case is prosecuted literally decades after the event, it becomes much more difficult to prove that you are wrongfully accused."

For more information on this important story, head over to the original article published by NPR.

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The elimination of the statute of limitations for sexual assault cases serves as a major blow against criminal defendants who already face tremendous adversity. If you have been accused of rape, it is imperative you retain the services of a powerful criminal Vista sex crime attorney from Bill Nimmo & Raymond Gomez, Attorney at Law as soon as possible to minimize your chances of conviction. With more than 80+ years of legal experience and hundreds of jury trials handled, we have what it takes to give you a fighting chance against your accusations.

We offer free consultations to all who come to us for help.

Categories: Rape, Sex Crimes, In the News