Bill Cosby’s Rape Scandal Has Inspired New Legislation In California
Gov. Jerry Brown of California has signed a new bill into law that will eliminate the statute of limitations in certain rape and child molestation cases, the Associated Press reports.
The previous statute of limitations included a 10-year time limit for prosecutors to file charges of rape or child molestation. Due to the statute, a number of women who claim they were sexually assaulted by Cosby were unable to file a case despite having “sufficient evidence to prove a case beyond reasonable doubt.”
At the start of 2017 in the state of California, the statute of limitations in such cases will end as well as the time limits on “cases in which the statute of limitations has not yet expired.”
The new law won’t help those who made allegations “dating back more than 10 years,” including some of Cosby’s alleged victims. (RELATED: Cosby Pulled Out The Race Card In Sex Assault Case)
California is not the first state to sign new legislation regarding rape and molestation cases since the nationwide attention resulting from Cosby’s alleged assaults. Seventeen states, in addition to California, have already dealt away with their statute of limitations on rape.
Colorado doubled the amount of time sexual assault victims have to file charges, from 10 to 20 years, in June. Nevada has also extended its time limit “from four to 20 years last year after testimony by one of Cosby’s accusers,” the Associated Press reports.
Brown made the announcement of the new state law Wednesday without comment.
California state Sen. Connie Leyva said the law “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.”
“Rapists should never be able to evade legal consequences simply because an arbitrary time limit has expired,” the California Democrat continued. “There must never be an expiration date on justice!”
Cosby and his lawyers continue to maintain the comedian’s innocence against dozens of women who have accused him of assault. Cosby’s trial date is set to begin no later than June 5, 2017.