Statute of Limitations for Sex Crimes Expanded in Nevada

Responding to a question about allegations of sex crimes made against comedian Bill Cosby, President Obama decided it was time to call a rape, a rape.

Also because of allegations of sex crimes against Cosby, the state of Nevada has decided to make it tougher for a rapist to use the calendar to escape his crime.

Lise-Lotte Lublin and Linda Kirkpatrick are two of four women who have accused Cosby of drugging and sexual assaulting them in Nevada in the 1980s. They stood alongside Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) when he signed legislation extending the statute of limitations for sexual assault from four to 20 years.

Cosby’s attorney released a statement disputing Lublin’s allegation in March 2015.

“The new, never-before-heard claims from women who have come forward in the past two weeks with unsubstantiated, fantastical stories about things they say occurred 30, 40, or even 50 years ago have escalated far past the point of absurdity,” Martin Singer said in the statement.

Lublin and her husband wanted to press charges against Cosby when they saw dozens of other women accusing the comedian of exactly what Lublin said happened to her.

“I told him I did not drink, but he insisted, so I drank it. … I trusted him because of who he was and how well he was respected around the world,” she testified at a Nevada State Assembly hearing. “My next memory was waking up at home, and for me it felt like several days had passed.”

But because Nevada’s statute of limitations was only four years, they had no hope of seeing the case prosecuted.

Lublin still won’t be able to get her day in court against Cosby with the 20-year statute of limitations limit. That is why she lobbied strenuously for the Nevada Legislature to wipe out the limitation entirely, so rape would be treated like murder.

“I am furious and I have decided to fight for my rights and the rights of every man, woman and child who have been victims of a sexual crime,” Lublin also testified at the Nevada State Assembly hearing on legislation to extend the statute of limitations.

“I have contacted every senator and assembly person from the state of Nevada and I will continue to rally every victim of sexual assault, every rape crisis center and every supporter who believes in the right to have an offender tried in a court of law,” she said.

Lublin’s husband, Benjamin, also testified at the hearing because he said he was the victim of a sexual assault 25 years ago.

"There's no reason to allow a rapist or an assault to get away with rape or sexual assault," Benjamin Lublin said. "And that's what the statute of limitations does.”

Attorney Gloria Allred also testified. She said passing AB212 could help future victims of rape or sexual assault.

"We hope that Nevada will take the opportunity to show leadership and to say the victim should not be denied their day in court," Allred said.

Democratic Nevada Assemblywoman Irene Bustamante Adams sponsored the compromise legislation, AB212, to extend the rape statute of limitations to 20 years.

She said the extension was needed because most women who are assaulted don’t immediately report the crime.

“We have taken the first step to ensure victims have every opportunity to seek justice,” Bustamante Adams wrote on her Facebook page a few minutes after Gov. Sandoval signed AB212 into law.

Linda Kirkpatrick and two other women have joined a defamation lawsuit against Cosby filed by Allred.

But the new law won’t help the four Nevada women who have accused Bill Cosby of raping them. Charges can’t be filed retroactively. The statute of limitation extension for rape can only be applied to future rape and sexual assault cases.

Nearly four dozen women have accused Bill Cosby of sex crimes. Most of them, like Lublin and Kirkpatrick, are out of luck. Their allegations cover attacks that also occurred in Nevada or other states where the statute of limitations for prosecuting the cases has expired.

But some of the alleged rapes by Cosby took place in Michigan where — as in 25 other states — there is no statute of limitations on first degree felony sexual assault.

Whether or not Cosby is prosecuted for any of the alleged rapes that occurred in Michigan has yet to be seen.

But it appears his presidential Medal of Freedom is safe.

Along with telling a reporter July 15 that when drugs are used to knock out a woman or a man for sex “that is rape,” Obama also said there was “no mechanism” to take back the Medal of Freedom that President George W. Bush gave to Cosby in 2002.

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