Georgia Rape Statute of Limitations
The Georgian legislature is submitting a bill to lift the statute of limitations on rape and aggravated sexual violence.
ATLANTA – – A group of state lawmakers wants to lift the statute of limitations on rape in Georgia.
“It’s basically an arbitrary line and it’s something we should get rid of for something this serious,” stated Senator Harold Jones, D-Augusta, the bill’s main sponsor.
Under current law, prosecution for rape, aggravated sodomy, or aggravated sexual violence must be initiated within 15 years of the crime. However, there is an exception for cases where the culprit is later identified through DNA testing.
Sen. Jones’s bill would completely remove the statute of limitations for rape or sexual assault occurring on or after July 1, 2021.
“I think it shows people looking. We take this as seriously as we do murder because when you think about the impact it has on the victim and the victim’s family, it’s such a huge impact,” Sen said. Jones. “So we really want to lift the statute of limitations and hope that we can do it.”
Georgia Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council executive director Pete Skandalakis said he supported the move.
“I think it’s important,” said Skandalakis. “With today’s technology and developments, there are cases that can be resolved much later than when they occur and it is something that needs to be done.”
Senator Jones said the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a similar bill last year but never reached it for a Senate vote. While there weren’t any outright critics of the idea, Senator Jones said some of the concerns raised could lead to more false reports.
“My argument for that is this – number one, it will still be beyond doubt. It always is. Number two, the period doesn’t help the person who calls it. It actually hurts them,” Sen. Jones said .
The bill was due to be negotiated on Monday afternoon but was canceled. Senator Jones said it would likely be postponed for next week.
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