Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli (D-Syracuse) announced the Assembly plans to pass legislation to eliminate both the criminal and civil statute of limitations on Class B felony sex crimes (A.11283).
This legislation would extend the authority to prosecute and to bring civil action for a range of sexual crimes. Under current law, once the current statute of limitations has expired, sexual assault victims are prohibited from seeking legal recourse. The bill would become effective immediately upon being signed into law. Its provisions would apply to crimes committed before the effective date as long as the current statute of limitations had not expired.
Making It Easier For Rape Victims to Have Their Day in Court
No one should even have to go through the trauma of Rape and sexual assault. Those who do, are forever affected. Many survivors are so traumatized that they cannot immediately report their crimes, said Magnarelli. This legislation seeks to leave the window of opportunity open for any victim to seek justice in a time frame that is dictated by their needs and not an arbitrary timetable set by the criminal justice system.
Earlier this session the Assembly had approved legislation imposing mandatory life maximum sentences for the most serious sex crimes, and civil commitment to ensure the most dangerous predators could be confined even after their prison sentences. As well as a range of other measures to empower and assist survivors and closely monitor those convicted of sex offenses should they be released after serving new, tougher sentences.
Call for Conference Committee
The Assembly is calling for the formation of a conference committee to resolve differences between the Assembly and Senate. The Assembly proposal, which would eliminate both the criminal and civil statute of limitations and a Senate proposal would only eliminate the criminal statute of limitations in such cases.
I feel it is vital that the Senate and the Assembly work together in a bipartisan way to enact an effective law to protect sexual assault survivors this session, Magnarelli said. An open, public conference committee is the best way to achieve that goal.
The Assembly has been leading the way in making New York safer for all that live here, said Magnarelli. This legislation would continue in not only making it safer, but would give the victims of these heinous crimes the opportunity for justice, regardless of the time that has passed. The elimination of the statute of limitation for rape would be a victory for all women in New York State.