TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ A bill has been signed into Kansas law that abolishes the statute of limitations for prosecuting rape cases, eliminating the five-year time frame.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed the bill Monday, and takes effect July 1.
Kansas is among 10 states that required rape cases to be prosecuted within five years.
The new law also allows for prosecution of a sexually violent crime within 10 years if the victim is at least 18 years old.
For younger victims, prosecution would begin within one year of the date the suspect is identified through DNA testing, or within 10 years of the victim's 18th birthday, whichever is later.
Attorney General Derek Schmidt pushed for the change.
“As technology has improved in areas such as DNA evidence, our ability to successfully prosecute perpetrators has increased," Schmidt said in a statement following Monday's signing. "This new law will allow prosecutors and law enforcement agencies to bring these cases forward whenever sufficient evidence is available without an artificial time limit.”
Rape victims say the change in the law helps them with their healing after the crime.