Bill Cosby Case Analysis

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At the end of 2015, more than 50 women had publicly accused actor Bill Cosby of sexual assault spanning over five decades ago, but only one of those incidents resulted in criminal charges being filed against Cosby. The reason for this is largely because for many of these crimes, the statutes of limitations has expired. Statutes of limitations can become problematic when crimes carry high emotional stakes. This is because victims can wait years or even decades before coming forward. In some cases, this allows for secondary victimization of a rape victim which can lead to them experiencing more trauma from the incident they claim had occurred. In the Cosby case, in particular, many of his victims claimed that they were sexually assaulted more than 40 years…show more content…
Statutes of limitations vary not only by state, but by the type of legal proceeding. Criminal suits which involve crimes prosecuted by the state generally have a longer statutes of limitations than civil suits, which are typically disputes between two people. Although the time limit varies by state, plaintiffs in civil law suits usually have just one or two years to file a lawsuit before their case expires. When it comes to the accusations against Bill Cosby, the only incident that resulted in criminal charges happened in 2004 at his home in Pennsylvania. The alleged victim brought these charges against Cosby just weeks before the state’s twelve year statute of limitations ran out. However, had the alleged sexual assault occurred just two states over in Connecticut, her time would have already expired. The victim then would have had just five years to bring charges against Cosby. Cases like this further demonstrate how the statutes of limitations varies state by state. This concept may lead to cases like Cosby’s, but overall, these statutes work to keep the justice system running

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