The arrest of famed comedian Bill Cosby on sexual assault allegations is raising questions about how other states handle such matters. The charges in Cosby’s Pennsylvania case fall under a 12-year statute of limitations that’s about to run out. Could West Virginia prosecute a case that old? The answer is yes.
“West Virginia is one of the states that does not have a statute of limitations on sexual assault, which means a victim can report years later,” Nancy Hoffman, WV Foundation for Rape Information & Services said.
There are rare exceptions to that rule, and in those cases West Virginia must file charges within one year. Like elsewhere, many West Virginians are stunned by the downfall of Cosby.
“No one is really above the law. He’s an American Icon, a cultural icon,” Jennifer Dooley, of Charleston said.
“Well, I feel if he did the crime, he needs to do the time,” Catherine Mitchell of Charleston said.
Advocates for rape victims, say the massive publicity from the Cosby case, may encourage victims in other cases to report sexual abuse.
“Absolutely, because he is such and icon, so if you can take down someone like this, why not take down the average Joe,” Catherine Mitchell of Charleston said.
“Just the optimism that after a number of years, that there still is some potential, that justice could be served,” Nancy Hoffman, WV. Foundation for Rape Information and Services said,
Cosby and his attorney, said he’s not guilty.
Full article here: http://www.wowktv.com/story/30863912/cosby-arrest-fallout-comparing-west-virginias-statute-of-limitations