Sexual Assault Statute of Limitations in Arizona
Brand new charges have once again brought the alleged sexual misconduct
of Bill Cosby to the forefront again. This time, the allegations come
from a woman Cosby came in contact with over a decade ago in the state
of Pennsylvania. According to the woman, Cosby invited her to his home
where he urged her to drink wine and take pills that ultimately rendered
her unable to fight off his advances. She alleges that he then committed
aggravated indecent assault against her.
Even though this is just one of over 50 different reports of woman who
have had similar experiences with the famous comedian, what makes it different
is that it is the first time Cosby is being criminally charged. Most of
the alleged incidents happened so long ago that they fall outside the
statute of limitations, making them impossible to prosecute. This specific
incident happened within Pennsylvania’s 12-year statute of limitations
allowing the district attorney to press charges.
Had the prosecution waited any longer, the statute of limitations would’ve
expired and there would be no way to charge Cosby.
Statutes of limitations are put in place to define the time period in which
a person can be charged with a crime or sued. They apply to both civil
and criminal cases and are different from state to state.
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for the crime Cosby is charged
with is 12 years. But how would he fair if he were in Arizona?
Believe it or not, if this crime had been committed in Arizona, Cosby would
not be facing charges for his crime. Arizona’s statute of limitations
for most sexual offenses is 7 years. The only time there is no time limit
for prosecution is when there is a case of violent sexual assault, which
involves the use of a weapon or serious physical injury. A conviction
of a violent sexual assault crime results in a life sentence without the
possibility of parole.
Because Cosby’s crime took place over 12 years ago, Arizona prosecutors
would have no way of charging him criminally if the case had happened here.
Cosby’s attorneys vow that they will mount a “vigorous defense”
against these charges and it’s very probable that the statute of
limitations will come again in this case.
For those facing sexual assault charges, the statute of limitations can
be a very important part of their defense. This is why it is so important
to have a criminal defense attorney at your side when facing such serious
crimes. An experienced attorney, like Charlie Naegle, is familiar with
Arizona law and knows how to use statute of limitations to protect his
If you have questions about sexual assault charges, call Naegle & Crider
Criminal Defense Attorneys today at 480-418-0776.