Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 813 last week, authored by Senator Leyva (D-Chino) which removes the statute of limitations on rape crimes, providing victims an open opportunity to seek justice after being sexually violated. Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) served as a principal co-author on the bill and was active in helping to push for its passage through the Legislature.
“Not only do I want to serve as a male ally on this issue which has a greater effect on women,” stated Gipson, “but I also wanted to raise awareness of the estimated 7% of men who are raped, and ensure that as men, we understand our stake in this conversation. This is a victory for every person, man and woman that has been a victim of rape in California. No longer will we have a barrier such as the statute of limitation on rape in California and I am proud that with this law California now stands up for all victims.”
Current law requires that felony sex offenses, including rape, be prosecuted within 10 years of the original offense. In cases involving minors under the age of 18, the victim has until their 40th birthday to prosecute their assailant. These policies have been called to question given the number of cases where the victim was so devastated by the attack that they did not come to terms with it until much later in their life, where it is often too late.
Gipson further commented, “Rape is one of the most personally invasive crimes that can be committed and can lead to deep pain and life-long trauma. With Senate Bill 813, we have the opportunity to provide law enforcement with more time and provide victims with the justice they deserve.”
Additionally Senator Leyva, thanked Gipson for his efforts stating, “I am so thankful that Governor Brown signed the bipartisan ‘Justice for Victims Act.’ Today’s victory for survivors would not have been possible without the hard work and commitment of SB 813 Principal Coauthor Assemblymember Mike Gipson, other legislative coauthors and the entire coalition.”