Proposed Legislation Examines Criminal Statute of Limitations

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Monday, April 18, 2005

Democratic state Senator Jackie Speier wants to end the current ten year statute of limitations for serious sexual assault offenses and create an indefinite period of time for victims to pursue their cases.  She says that sends a clear message crimes such as rape won’t be tolerated.

“It is a crime predominantly against women, and it is a crime that has historically not been given the same gravity of offenses as murder has. And we want to turn that around."

 The American Civil Liberties Union is opposing the bill, saying the current statutes of limitations permit victims ample opportunity to report the crimes to law enforcement, and that the timely requirement prevents people from having to face charges based on evidence that may be unreliable.  

The measure will be heard in committee this week.