SACRAMENTO (KCBS) — Rape victims testified in Sacramento Tuesday as an effort to eliminate the 10-year statute of limitations on the crime advances through the California legislature.
“They couldn’t even consider prosecuting Bill Cosby because I was just a few months outside the statute of limitations,” actress Lili Bernard, who has accused Cosby of drugging and raping her, told KCBS.
California State Senator Connie Leyva is sponsoring SB 813, which is sailing through the legislature so far.
“Very proud to say that it is a bipartisan effort every step of the way, and we’ve had no ‘no’ votes,” Leyva told KCBS.
However, the bill does have opponents.
“The ACLU is concerned, rightly so, about people being convicted unjustly, innocent people, and of course we would never, never want that to happen. But, when you look at statistics, and you see that only two convicted rapists, two out of 100 serve any time. We know that people aren’t being convicted unduly,” Leyva said.
If the bill is signed into law, rape would join murder as one of the crimes with no statute of limitations. Victims like Bernard would not be able to seek charges retroactively.