California Lawmakers Move to Lift Time Limits on Rape Cases in Wake of Accusations Against Bill Cosby

Artist and actor Lili Bernard, who has accused comedian Bill Cosby of raping her in the 1990s, speaks at a rally at the site of Cosby's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Artist and actor Lili Bernard, who has accused comedian Bill Cosby of raping her in the 1990s, speaks at a rally at the site of Cosby's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

In the wake of sexual assault accusations against comedian Bill Cosby, California may soon end the statute of limitations for prosecuting rape and other felony sex crimes.

The state Senate on Tuesday sent the governor a bill to end time limits for prosecuting crimes including rape and child sexual abuse.

Under existing law, such crimes generally must be prosecuted within 10 years unless DNA evidence emerges later. Sex crimes against minors must be prosecuted before the victim’s 40th birthday.

If the governor signs the bill, those crimes could be prosecuted at any time.

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