Senate bill would end statute of limitations on crimes that occurred during sexual assaults

DENVER - A Senate bill was passed Thursday by the Colorado House of Representatives to hold criminals accountable for all crimes committed during a sexual assault, regardless of how much time has passed.

The bill will abolish the statute of limitations for crimes that occur during sexual assaults, such as burglary or kidnapping.

Currently, the law enacts a statute of limitations for crimes accompanying sexual assaults. If enough time passes after an incident occurs, the criminal justice system expires, and the criminal may not held accountable for robbery, kidnapping or any crimes other than the sexual assault. Crimes of sexual assault are not subject to a statute of limitations.

"It is time to ensure people who commit despicable sex crimes are punished with the full force of the law," said Representative Polly Lawrence (R-Littleton), who sponsored the bill. "If additional crimes were committed along with a sexual assault, the statute of limitations should not shield a felon from prosecution of their crimes."

The bill now goes back to the Senate for review of bill amendments made by the House. If passed into law, the act would take effect on July 1, 2014.

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