Change in State’s Rape Law Proposed

A proposed change in state law on prosecution of rape cases has been made part of the package of legislation proposed to the Shelby County legislative delegation, according to the Commercial Appeal.
Rape carries a statute of limitations of 10 years and aggravated rape has a 15-year statute of limitations. So, even if a rapist is caught and DNA evidence links him to the crime, if the (time set out in the) statute has passed, the rapist can’t be charged.
“I thought, this is so messed up. I don’t know what I can do, but I plan to something about this,” Ybos said.
She did.
This fall Ybos became a member of the Victims of Crime Advisory League (VOCAL), a group created in 2009 to help shape public policy to victims of crime. And she wrote a law.
That law extends the statute of limitations by one year from the date that the DNA evidence identifying the defendant is established.
A similar law was proposed in 2006 for all felonies but died because it was too expensive to implement, Ybos said.
Her law, however, would only apply to rape, aggravated rape and the rape of a child.
With VOCAL’s help, that law has been included in the joint legislative package Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton presented to the county’s state legislative delegation for consideration.
“Rape is a devastating crime,” said Ybos, a law school graduate who is studying for the bar exam. “If we have the evidence to solve it, we owe it to the victims to do everything we can to solve that crime.”

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