(June 10) – A bill by Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, to grant more time for justice to be served in sexual assault cases was signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper this morning. HB16-1260 extends the statute of limitations for adult sexual assault cases from 10 to 20 years.
“This law is about closure and justice for victims,” said Rep. Fields. “Rape is a devastating crime and the door to justice should never be closed for any man or woman who has suffered such an atrocity. This law sends a message to all survivors: you do not have to suffer in silence.”
Currently in Colorado, the statute of limitations for adult sexual assault cases is ten years and no statute of limitations exists when DNA evidence is present or for crimes involving a minor younger than 15 years of age.
Rape is reported at lower rates than other crimes and it can often take years for a victim to come forward. 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.
The bill passed both chambers with overwhelming majorities.