Dozens Protest at Bill Cosby’s Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame, Demand Changes to Rape Laws

© Bauer-Griffin/GC Images Bill Cosby protesters met at his Hollywood Walk of Fame star to protest a law that they say prevents rape victims from fully seeking justice.
© Bauer-Griffin/GC Images Bill Cosby protesters met at his Hollywood Walk of Fame star to protest a law that they say prevents rape victims from fully seeking justice.

More than three dozen people gathered Saturday at Bill Cosby’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to protest a law that they say prevents rape victims from fully seeking justice.

In the past year, more than 45 women have accused Cosby of sexual assault during his decades as an entertainer.

The legal deadline for prosecuting most rape cases in California is a decade, so many of the accusations will not be investigated. Cosby, 78, has never been charged with a crime, and has said that the encounters were consensual.

Eliminating the statute of limitations for rape, or at least extending it, would give assault survivors more time to heal, advocates said. Too often, they said, rape victims spend years grappling with the fear and shame of admitting what happened, only to learn that they’ve come forward too late.

“When someone is ready to speak up, that’s when they find out that they can’t anymore,” said Maya Paley, 32, an advocate with the National Council of Jewish Women who was sexually assaulted when she was 15. She said she only told her father last week.

State Sen. Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) has said that she will introduce a bill when the Legislature convenes in January to eliminate the statute of limitations for sex crimes, including rape, sodomy and sexual abuse of children.

The statewide association of criminal defense attorneys plans to scrutinize the bill, a lobbyist told The Times this month, because the current law is more flexible than many realize.

The statute of limitations can be extended when the sexual assault victim is a minor, or when DNA evidence is uncovered later.

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Source: Los Angeles Times | Laura J. Nelson

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