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Bill Cosby Ordered To Court For Sexual Assault Charges, Could See 10 Years Behind Bars
Bill Cosby Ordered To Court For Sexual Assault Charges, Could See 10 Years Behind Bars

California Votes To Remove Time Limit On Prosecuting Rape Cases

Bill Cosby Ordered To Court For Sexual Assault Charges, Could See 10 Years Behind Bars

Following the allegations that Bill Cosby drugged and raped a number of women, California has now passed a bill to end the time limit for prosecuting rape and felony sex crimes.

The bill passed the state assembly unanimously and will now move on to the Senate where, according to the Los Angeles Times, an earlier version of the bill was passed in June.

Under the state's existing law rape and felony sex crimes must be tried within 10 years, unless DNA evidence comes to light after that time period. Sex crimes against children younger than 18 must be prosecuted before the victim turns 40. Cosby is accused of assaulting more than 35 women in the '70s, '80s and '90s, but in several of those cases the statue of limitations has expired.

"There are some crimes that are so heinous that there should never be a statute of limitations, assemblyman Travis Allen told the Times. Assemblyman Mike Gipson agreed, calling the bill "long overdue" and saying it would "ensure that criminals be placed in jail" no matter when charges are brought against them.

You have to wonder what the rationale for having a statute of limitations on rape was in the first place, but it seems increasingly untenable in an age when DNA evidence is regularly making or overturning cases that have been cold for decades.

The bill not only comes in the wake of Cosby's sexual assault allegations, but with the recent resurgence of Nate Parker's 1999 rape trial. The director of the forthcoming Birth Of A Nation film has received a lot of backlash for how he's handling the incident. Although he was acquitted in a 2001 trial Parker's response to the incident was seen by many as lacking both accountability and sympathy for the victim. Only after discovering that she committed suicide in 2012 did Parker seem to address the incident more directly, but by then the damage had been done.

Although it wouldn't be correct to equate Parker to Cosby what these incidences speak to is the issue of consent, and holding people accountable when they sexually assault someone. What California has done is a necessary change and hopefully other states will soon follow suit.