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statute of limitations

Not too long ago, when people thought of formerly beloved comedian Bill Cosby it would bring smiles. Today, amidst a pile of rape and assault allegations, people are typically disgusted when thinking about Cosby. Many people are outraged about two different aspects of the allegations: the fact that there are so many, and that fact that many of them are well beyond the statute of limitations.

The Cosby rape fiasco has led a number of states to amend the statute of limitations on rape cases. While lengthening the time that prosecutors have to try those indicted on rape charges may not affect Cosby, it could help countless women in the future—those victims who may not have been ready to confront what happened to them at the time of the offense. In the state of California, unlike rape, there isn’t a time limit on filing:

  • Murder Charges
  • Embezzlement of Public Funds
  • Rape Involving Serious Injury or Weapons

Most sex-related crimes in California carry a 10-year statute of limitation, The Los Angeles Times reports. That time limit could be extended in the near future. Both California houses of the Legislature passed a proposal that would increase the legal deadline for rape crimes, following a new law in Nevada that increases the legal deadline for rape prosecutions. California SB 813 will now go to the governor for review.

Nevada recently extended their deadline from four to 20 years on rape cases, after an alleged Cosby victim fought for amending the length, according to the article. While old sex crimes may be difficult to prove and difficult for a defendant to contest, San Bernardino County Dist. Attorney Mike Ramos, a co-sponsor of the bill, points out:

“But at least it gives victims an opportunity for law enforcement to really look into this. At least they have their day to sit down and say what happened.” 

Ronald G. Brower is a criminal defense attorney in Southern California. Based out of Orange County, Attorney Brower has represented individuals charged with crimes in state and federal court.

Contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower online or by telephone at 714-997-4400.

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