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Kansas moves toward removing time limits for rape prosecution

Updated: 2013-03-02T04:51:06Z

By BRENT D. WISTROM

The Wichita Eagle

— The Kansas House voted unanimously Friday to eliminate the statute of limitations for rape cases — a day after the Senate unanimously approved a similar bill.

Under House Bill 2252, rape or aggravated criminal sodomy could be prosecuted any time after the crime occurs. Current law requires prosecution to start within five years of the crime.

The bill also allows prosecution of sexually violent crimes anytime within 10 years of when the victim turns age 18 — or within one year of when authorities establish a conclusive DNA link between the crime and the suspect.

Several rape and molestation survivors testified to committees in recent weeks, pleading with them to extend the statute of limitations so that rapists — including those who have confessed — could be prosecuted.

State officials say the new laws couldn’t be applied retroactively, and wouldn’t benefit victims who testified. The legislation could help future victims receive justice, lawmakers say.

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