Last week’s Conversation asked: Should California eliminate the statute of limitations on sexual assault? Why or why not?
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Consider civil cases, too
Re “Statute of limitations on sexual assault limits justice” (Forum, Feb. 7): Consideration should also be given to extending the statute of limitations for civil suits in cases of sexual assault. Currently, it is three years. Sexual assault survivors may experience debilitating post-traumatic stress disorder that disrupts their lives. Recovery can take many years. In the meantime, they lose jobs, quit school, engage in high-risk behavior and have difficulty developing and maintaining personal relationships due to trust issues. Recovery can be a long road. Participating in the criminal or civil justice system can feel overwhelming, and survivors don’t always have the personal strength or support to undertake it within a specified time frame after the assault.
End statute of limitations
As a victim of sexual assault (pedophilia) at a very young age, I fully support ending the current statute of limitations. Given the nature of the crime, might we not expect increasingly violent and exponential manifestations by the same perpetrator in the future?
Bruce S. Hubbard, Sacramento
Phineas Worthington – Depends on the degree of the assault. I would agree that rape should have no statute of limitations, just like murder.
Julian Segura Camacho – No, because if the claim is true it must be reported ASAP when evidence is most available. To bring an issue after more than 10 years jeopardizes true fact finding.
Kelly Watts – When you have permanent damage from the assault 10 to 15 years later, that should be evidence enough. Each rape case if different and should be treated accordingly.
Raven Taylor – What if the victim is an infant, child or mentally handicapped adult? Do you expect them to report it as soon as it happens?
Gordon Gray – I don’t get the whole “statute of limitations.” No felony should be washed away just because you were able to evade arrest for an arbitrary amount of time.
Karen Campbell – I have concerns about allowing reporting after the physical evidence is lost to time, because that leads to a he said/she said situation. But if DNA was taken at the time and later matches up to someone, there should be no statute of limitations to prosecute it.
Linda Taylor – Allow women to take the time they need to come forward. Rape is a very traumatic event. Women can suppress it for decades, not realizing it’s affecting every part of their lives. There should be no statute of limitation.
Tracy McBroom – It’s a slippery slope. It will set a precedent, opening the doors for other crimes to be considered in the same light. Who decides which crimes are most heinous and get this treatment? Hmmmm. Tough call.
Sharon Riha LaCount – There is no limitation on how long a survivor has to deal with the aftereffects of the attack, so why should the attacker get a free pass?
Gabe Garcia – As long as the false accusations are prosecuted just as vigorously, then I’m for it. I mean the accusation alone will definitely have a lasting effect even if it’s not proven.
Marlene Laughtin – Rape leaves scars for a lifetime; need I say more.
Menagerie Lopez – Due to the fact to this day rape kits have gone untested should mean no limitations on prosecuting sexual assaults.