POSTED 6:06 PM, SEPTEMBER 6, 2016, BY LONNIE WONG
SACRAMENTO — The backers of a bill that would eliminate the 10-year statute of limitations on sexual assault cases are urging Governor Jerry Brown to sign it.
The bill authored by Senator Connie Leyva got overwhelming support from both houses of the legislature.
Sexual assault victims, including a number who claim that comedian and actor Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them, say they will receive no justice because they were reluctant to come forward when they were younger.
Another victim, Norma Hernandez, was raped when she was 12 years old and was afraid to report the crime to police.
Decades later, even though she had evidence of the crime, prosecutors could not take the case to court.
Jayce Baron, who says he was drugged before he was raped, said men have an even tougher time coming to grips with being the victims of sexual assault.
When he finally went online to reveal his rape, he said the story went viral, and he was contacted by male victims who had kept their stories secret for 20 years or more.
“It takes time, and it takes a lot of mental digestion to kind of face that,” said Baron.
“We want to make sure that the victims, the survivors, have every opportunity and the time that they need to come forward,” said Leyva.
The bill is not retroactive and will not help victims of crimes that occurred over 10 years ago. But those who came to the Capitol to ask for Brown’s signature say it will prevent the injustice and anguish they had to suffer.