Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs bill extending statute of limitations for rape

Kimberly Dole
September 19, 2019 - 10:09 am

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo was joined by actresses Mira Sorvino, Julianne Moore as well and other activists as he signed a bill extending to statue of limitations on rape at his Manhattan office Wednesday.

"Five years is an insult to these survivors and today we're providing them more time to come to terms with the trauma they experienced and to seek justice," Governor Cuomo said. "This new law recognizes the injustice that has gone on for far too long and honors all the women who have suffered this pain and all the advocates who had the courage to come forward and tell their story so that other women may be spared the pain."

The new law extends the statute of limitations from five years to 20 years for second-degree rape and from five years to 10 years for third-degree rape.

Second and third-degree rape can be charged under New York law when a victim cannot consent to sex either because of age or incapacity.

"As a critical part of our Women's Justice Agenda and in partnership with TIME'S UP, this action will enable New Yorkers to seek justice and help ensure more rapists are held accountable," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "In New York, we are committed to changing the culture, combating sexual harassment, and protecting women against violence. Extending the statute of limitations for rape is a significant step forward for victims across our state."

Victims of rape would be provided with more time to seek justice under the new law.

"Thank you so much to Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for passing this very important bill," Julianne Moore, one of the 300 women in the entertainment industry who helped launch TIME'S UP in 2017, said. "I am proud to be a New Yorker and grateful that so many survivors will be able to seek the justice they deserve."

The Governor first proposed these reforms as part of the 2019 Women's Justice Agenda and then proposed it again in the FY 2020 Executive Budget.

The initiative was not adopted by the legislature, and with 11 days remaining in the legislative session, the Governor launched the "Women's Justice Agenda: The Time Is Now" campaign urging the legislature to extend the statute of limitations for rape in the second and third degrees.

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