House approves bill to remove statute of limitations on sex assault cases

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DENVER — A proposal that would eliminate statutes of limitations for offenses committed during sexual assaults passed the full House on Thursday morning.

Senate Bill 059, sponsored by Rep. Polly Lawrence, R-Littleton, drew bipartisan support.

Because it was amended in the House, the legislation must go back to the Senate where lawmakers must sign off on the changes before it heads to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk.

With current law, sex assaults which involve a DNA sample are not subject to a statute of limitations, but accompanying crimes, such as burglary or kidnapping, are subject to such limitations.

With the passage this measure, the statute of limitations for these accompanying crimes will be eliminated, thereby assuring all crimes committed during a sexual assault can be prosecuted.

“It is time to ensure people who commit despicable sex crimes are punished with the full force of the law” said Lawrence. “If additional crimes were committed along with a sexual assault, the statute of limitations should not shield a felon from prosecution of their crimes.”

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