Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge), has introduced AB 1682, his latest effort to ensure that rapists are ultimately caught and convicted in California.
“Under current law, there is a 10-year statute of limitation for the crime of rape. AB 1682 deletes this arbitrary time limit and will provide that those who sexually prey on our citizens can be brought to justice,” said Portantino. “I have in the past introduced legislation to ensure that all rape kits that are collected in California are tested for evidence of crime. Unfortunately, many rape kits are never tested. It is frustrating to know a rapist could continue to walk the streets because a vital piece of evidence went untested because of the costs of processing these kits.”
Under current law, evidence from rape kits is held in law enforcement evidence lockers where many languish, oftentimes past the statute of limitations for prosecuting the crime. While the number of unopened or untested kits throughout the state has been subject to debate, it is clear that local resources are not adequate to process rape kits for evidence unless there is a determined commitment to do so.
“Not testing rape kits after a woman has submitted herself to the invasive process of collecting a rape kit betrays the victim’s faith in the criminal justice system,” added Portantino.
AB 1682 will provide a different solution to the problem by deleting the statute of limitations for the crime of rape.
“While justice delayed is justice denied, a statute of limitations that terminates prosecution because we do not want to spend money testing rape kits is unconscionable,” the assemblyman said adding that this measure will hold accountable those who commit this terrible crime whenever it was committed.