(Feb. 19) – A bill by Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, that gives more time for justice to be served in sexual assault cases passed the House on third reading this morning. HB16-1260 extends the statute of limitations for adult sexual assault cases to 20 years. The current limit is 10 years.
“This bill is about closure and justice,” said Rep. Fields. “Rape is a devastating crime and the door to justice should never be closed for any woman, man, boy or girl who has suffered from such a crime. I want to send a message to all the survivors that you do not have to suffer in silence.”
Currently, no statute of limitations exists in Colorado when DNA evidence is present or for crimes involving a minor under 15 years of age.
Allowing greater opportunity for justice is important for the successful prosecution of crimes of this nature, where over 80 percent of sexual assault victims know their attacker. Rape is reported at lower rates than other crimes and it can often take years for a victim to come forward.
The 62-2 vote sends the bill to the Senate. Rep. Justin Everett, R-Littleton, and Rep. Tim Leonard, R- Evergreen, were the only two votes opposed.