I think a statute of limitations should still apply even in rape cases with the important exception of any sexual offense committed against a minor child who may not be capable or ready to report the crime until they are older. In other cases, the same rules should apply or else it could give rise to abuse by people seeking retribution against an ex-partner, for instance.
There should not be a statute of limitations on prosecuting a perpetrator of rape, no matter who the victim may be. There has been some recent awareness that young boys, for example, may not be able to speak out effectively until years after a molestation. In the case of women who have been raped, which is where the term is used more often (rather than "molestation"), recent advances in DNA identification mean that we are no longer relying on the inexact science of the memory of a person in a traumatic experience. Because of these advances in science, a rapist can be identified years after the crime and should be prosecuted then.
Statutes of limitations ensure that everyone knows that there are differences in crimes. Without statutes of limitations, a crime such as rape may end up with the same jail sentence as murder. In this case, there will be no line drawn between the two crimes, and someone who commits rape may also commit murder, believing to get the same sentence anyway.
Rape is a very nasty crime, but it is also one of the harder ones to prove in court. Often, the cases rely on nothing but eyewitness accounts and the plaintiff's word against the attacker. It can be easy to prove sex happened, but if it was rape, it is a harder matter to prove as time goes by. A limit on how long a rape crime could be punished makes sense, because it would become harder and harder to prove, or defend against the accusation, after years have passed since the incident.
Rape is one of the few crimes that is more based almost entirely on one's memory and recount of the incident, and stories of "he said, she said", rather than solid, clear and convincing evidence. Eyewitness testimony has proved ineffective enough, that if there was no statute of limitations on rape, and a rape was tried 30 years after it happened, someone who resembles the attacker could easily be wrongly convicted, because the victim wants justice after such a long period of time, and mistakes the look-alike for the attacker. A statute of limitations is a very good idea in rape cases, since stories change and memories fade. There should be an exception, though, to this statute of limitations. When DNA analysis is part of the evidence to support the validity of the identification of the attacker, then the statute of limitations should be waived.
While the crime of rape is very painful, a society based on law must create limitations. Rage and revenge can go on forever, in some hearts. But, a smart society creates a responsible arena for some of it, and then lets the rest of the crime become a part of history.
Our founding fathers believed in a system where some bad people can get away, so no good people are incriminated. Without a statue of limitations on crimes, imagine being charged for something someone claims you've done years ago. Even if you beat the case it could cost you a lot while doing so. Statutes of limitations are needed.
Lets say that a woman is raped and she doesn't tell anyone. She goes to the hospital to be checked out, doesn't contact the police. Then 20 years down the road she decides to say something, and then it takes another 20 years to arrest the alleged perpetrator. That is a forty year old case and it should not be a chargeable offense. You must bring an allegation soon after it happens or you lose that claim. It is the same with a civil lawsuit. If you wait too long to bring a civil action against someone then you lose that claim. Its called a continuing controversy that cannot continue forever.
Lets forget about the fact that even accusing someone of rape ruins their reputation and immediately demonizes them. So not only that, but we want be able to accuse people of decades later when it's pretty much going to be he said/she said. Rape is in fact not, a special kind of evil equivalent to or worse than murder. Let's stop pretending it is. It should not take you years to accuse someone, this is ridiculous.
Without a statute of limitation, individuals would have a more difficult time preparing a defense. As time passes, evidence becomes more and more difficult to produce. A rape allegation raised many years after the event might only be supported by the word of the complaining witness (i.E. Victim). Rape allegations are serious matters and should be prosecuted as soon as possible.
There are many rapists who acted before we were able to properly test DNA and use it as evidence in court cases. We now can test evidence from old cases. But those rapists will still go free because of the statute of limitation. They should be punished so they don't rape again.
It seems biased, seeing as though rape is generally targeted at women. The way the law is now, it favors the rapist over the victim, the former usually being male and the latter female. Lay low long enough and your crime just goes away. It's a sprout from the tree of rape culture and male patriarchy that needs to be pruned.
On the contrary, men have a greater chance of being murdered, but no statute of limitations on that.
The victim will live with the horror of rape for the rest of his or her
life, and there is no way in the world that the attacker should get away with it, just because the police did not catch them in time. Such crimes also represent a psychological defect that should really be identified and addressed, either with jail, or by a doctor.
As a woman who's been through such a horrific ordeal, the thought of a statute sickens me. There are numerous reasons why this is absurd. For starters, there have been cases where the rapist was unknown due to lack of technology. Years pass, technology catches up and a match is made. If a statute were in place, said rapist could walk free while his victim remains violated and unable to gain closure or seek justice.
I was raped by a hotel manager in Orlando. I was drugged and raped. It took me several years to finally tell the police due the mental state I was in. They told me I only had 4 years. Meanwhile the guy was out raping more boys and men and was in jail at the time of the photo lineup provided by the Orlando Police department submitted to the Wicomico County Maryland Sherriff's office. I was then told I couldn't sue in civil court either for the same reason. I was victimized once by him and twice by the courts. Why are we protecting criminals. Anyone who thinks this law is fair was never raped or sexually assualted and probably shouldn't have a vote to begin with. These are stupid laws that protect the monsters of our society. My life has been hell and he gets 3 meals a day and I pay for it. This is unreal. That is like throwing salt in the wound. I have to live with this forever. I was studying nuclear physics in the NAVY, now I work in restaurants and warehouses. I have no self worth nor do I ever feel that I ever will. When do I get my day in court? Where are my rights? Thank God he was able to keep molesting people even after I came forward. He got out and did it again. My case may have locked him up for life. He now gets out in 2027. I feel like the one who has been in prison.
The argument that police need to move on and investigate other crimes doesn't hold water. OK, fine have a statute of limitations for "investigative priority". Don't ban the government from carrying through charges if evidence just happens to fall into the police's hands.
The standard for conviction is "Beyond a reasonable doubt" without enough corroborative witness evidence there is still reasonable doubt especially over time because then there is the possibility their memories might not be too good. A good defensive lawyer will raise these issues.
The idea that a "statue of limitations" would exist for any personal violent crime is in itself ludicrous. Time cannot erase the wounds created by a personal crime, especially a violent one. Rape is a despicable crime, nobody can argue that. The effects of the crime on the victim are inexplicable to anyone who has not experienced it, but in all cases, we see a victim who is anxious, hesitant, and scared of the possibility of seeking justice against their attacker. Should this victim be denied justice, simply because the attack rendered them emotionally incapable of seeking justice within a certain time frame? Rape is an extremely person and violent crime. Time does not heal the wounds. To excuse a potential perpetrator on account of time is unacceptable. Placing the suspect above the victim is unacceptable. A statue of limitations, no matter its intentions, only serves as a roadblock to victims of violent crimes. Haven't these people been through enough? To deny them the chance to seek justice for the pain they have endured is blasphemy. These heroes - these people who have endured violent crime and persevered - only deserve our undying support.
As a victim of rape, sexual battery, kidnapping and gross sexual imposition (all by the same man, and in one horrible incident), I have to live with these memories for the rest of my life. The scars will never go away, for myself or my children, who went through it with me. I don't believe that it is right or fair to the victim for the charges simply to "go away" after a certain time period.
Rape disproportionately affects women. The statute of limitations on rape is a mechanism that systematically and systemically places women in a subordinate position relative to men. Instead of making issues of rape harder for women, we need to do everything and anything in our power to ensure that rapists are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Rape is an awful crime. If it can be proven 5 or 10 or 20 years later in trial, then by all means the rapist should be punished. Rape should never be forgiven simply because it has been too many years after the crime. I firmly believe rape to be on the same level of murder.