Kansas governor signs law to give rape victims more time to report

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TOPEKA, Kan. — On Monday, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed into law House Bill 2252, which eliminates the statute of limitations for prosecution of rape and aggravated criminal sodomy.

“As technology has improved in areas such as DNA evidence, our ability to successfully prosecute perpetrators has increased. This new law will allow prosecutors and law enforcement agencies to bring these cases forward whenever sufficient evidence is available without an artificial time limit,” said Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

Other Kansas district attorneys are also pleased with the change. Before Brownback signed the new law, victims might not see a suspect go to court if they waited more than five years to report it.

In the cases of child victims, that time sometimes expired before they were able to tell anyone. For example, a ten-year-old would have to report the crime by the time they were 15, or the crime would go unpunished.

The new law gives child rape victims up to ten years after they turn 18, or before they turn 28.

Prosecutors like the change because they say many times a rape victim doesn’t get the courage to go to police until they are an adult.

The new law also allows prosecutors to charge a suspect if their DNA is matched, no matter how long it has been. Currently, prosecutors must file charges within a year of the match.

The new law takes affect July 1.

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