California Ends Statute of Limitations for Rape Cases

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill to end California’s statute of limitations for rape. The measure, inspired by dozens of rape accusations against entertainer Bill Cosby, replaces a law that had prohibited prosecution if the incident happened more than 10 years earlier. Dozens of women have come forward and accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them, though many allegations were not pursued because of the state’s statute of limitations. Allegations against Cosby date back to 1969, with the most recent incident said to have happened in 2008. The bill’s author, stat Sen. Connie Leyva, praised the measure when it was signed Wednesday. “Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature of SB 813 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,” she said. The law is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2017. It will not work retroactively so cannot be used in the case against Cosby.