Kramer Posted December 11, 2018 Share Posted December 11, 2018 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - The number of reported rapes jumped 3.8 percent in the first six months of this year. Currently, rapists can be prosecuted within eight years of the crime, but new legislation would nearly double the statute of limitations for future cases to 15 years. Meg Baldwin runs Refuge House, a rape crisis center. She estimates 20 percent of the calls she receives are about cases 10 years or older. “Those survivors will have a wider window to come to terms with what happened to them, to appreciate the impact of the attack on themselves as individuals and to make that big decision to come forward,” said Baldwin. Representative Evan Jenne says the extension makes sense, given the capability of modern technology. “With the advancements that we've had in DNA techniques, it doesn't make sense not to, for me at least, personally, not to push back the statute of limitations. Especially on an act as heinous and vile as a sexual assault,” said Jenne. Lawmakers allocated more than $2 million to help reduce a backlog of more than 8,600 rape kits in 2016. 1,316 rape kits remain untested, but the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has a goal of processing all of them by June of 2019. To prevent future backlogs, the new legislation would require FDLE to track the status of rape kits. “That's a great next chapter to this story,” said Baldwin. If the bill passes, FDLE would have until 2020 to implement the new tracking requirements. A second bill filed in the Senate would abolish any statute of limitations for sexual battery on persons under the age of 18. Currently, those protections are only guaranteed to victims under the age of 16. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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