New law seeks to empower victims of sexual assault

A new law recently signed by the Governor will extend the statute of limitations of reporting of sexual assault cases, correcting an anomaly in current law for victims of sexual assault.

Senate Bill 2271 extends the statute of limitations to allow for the prosecution of a sexual offense committed against an adult within one year after the victim’s discovery. The law previously set the statute of limitations for one year after the offense was committed.

The legislation was proposed in response to a case where a woman was unconscious during the time of a sexual assault, and evidence of the offense was discovered on the perpetrator’s computer during a search warrant for an unrelated crime. The statute of limitations for the offense committed had already expired, and the defendant could not be charged for the sex crime.

The criminal law measure received unanimous support from Senate lawmakers in the spring and was signed into law on Aug. 21.

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