Press Release posted 4/26/12 – The Assembly Public Safety Committee has approved Assemblymember Anthony Portantino’s bill, AB 1682, which was introduced to ensure that rapists are brought to justice by extending the period of time that law enforcement has to analyze rape kits from two to five years. The bill was unanimously approved Tuesday on a vote of 6 to 0.
“I have introduced this bill to make sure that California is doing everything it can to arrest and prosecute rapists. Current statute of limitations in rape cases is tied to the testing of rape kits. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen in the past, not all rape kits are being tested in a timely manner and many languish past the statute of limitations for prosecuting the crime,” stated Assemblymember Portantino. “It’s frustrating to know a rapist could be walking the streets because a vital piece of evidence went untested and the statute of limitations ran out.”
The Rape, Abuse and Incest Network reports that 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, but only 6% of rapists will ever spend a day in jail. Rape kits hold potentially crucial information from the crime scene, but if not processed in a timely manner, these criminals may never be brought to justice.
AB 1682 is backed by California Police Chiefs Association, California State Sheriffs’ Association, Crime Victims United and the Junior League of California.