New Law Extends Statute Of Limitations For Rape In New York

Mike Smeltz
September 18, 2019 - 5:28 pm
Rape Statute of Limitations Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Office

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday signed a bill extending the statute of limitations for second and third-degree rape in New York.

The Democratic governor made the announcement at his Manhattan office and was joined by actresses Mira Sorvino and Julianne Moore, along with several activists the Time's Up group.

“There is a hunger out there for justice,” said Sorvino, an alleged victim of Harvey Weinstein and leading voice in the #MeToo movement. “We are getting closer to that day when predators will not abuse unabated in an atmosphere of impunity.”

The new law will extend the statute of limitations from the current five years to 20 years for second-degree rape. Victims of third-degree rape will now have 10 years to pursue charges under New York law.

A suspect can be charged with both offenses when a victim cannot consent to sexual activity either because of age or incapacity.

“What did five years do? It protected the perpetrator, it allowed people immunity, it allowed them to go out and do it again,” Gov. Cuomo said of the previous limitations.

He added the five-year statute of limitations was part of a pattern of society's way of covering up the problem.