The harrowing Bill Cosby scandal have inspired lawmakers to make a significant change in California’s prosecution of rape and child molestation cases.
According to Reuters, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed the law, SB813, ending the state’s 10-year limit for statute of limitations for rape on Wednesday (Sept. 28). The move was motivated by the many women who came forward with sexual assault claims against Cosby, decades after the crimes occurred. Cosby’s felony aggravated indecent assault case will take place in Pennsylvania next year, but the 79-year-old faces a civil suit in Calif. by Judy Huth.
Huth, who is in her 50’s, claimed she was molested by Cosby in 1974 at the Playboy Mansion when she was 15-years-old. CBS News reports the law will go into effect next year and will not apply to the recent cases against Cosby. State Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, who introduced the bill, shared the importance of the new law and what it means for rape and sexual assault victims. “They will always have an opportunity to seek justice in a court of law,” Leyva said in a statement. “Rapists should never be able to evade legal consequences simply because an arbitrary time limit has expired. There must never be an expiration date on justice!”
Cosby has continued to maintain his innocence in the cases. Seventeen other states, including Alabama, Wyoming and South Carolina, already have no statute of limitations on rape, Victims of Crime notes.