“One in six women and one in 33 men will be sexually assaulted sometime in their lifetimes, but only six percent of rapists will ever spend a day in jail” (The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network).
Focusing on statistics like these, California Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) was able to move a step forward with his bill AB1682 when the Assembly Public Safety Committee approved the bill. It was created to give law enforcement officials a longer period of time to analyze rape kits, which can be important in gathering information from a crime scene. The bill would allow law enforcement officials to have five years instead of two years to look at rape kits.
Portantino has been representing the 44th District since 2006. In the past, he has served on the La Cañada Flintridge City Council, the Pasadena City College Bond Oversight Committee, and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Advisory Committee. Many of his policies focus on education, health and human services, among other issues.
“I have introduced this bill to make sure that California is doing everything it can to arrest and prosecute rapists. Current statute of limitations in rape cases is tied to the testing of rape kits. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen in the past, not all rape kits are being tested in a timely manner and many languish past the statute of limitations for prosecuting the crime,” remarked Portantino in a prepared statement. “It’s frustrating to know a rapist could be walking the streets because a vital piece of evidence went untested and the statute of limitations ran out.”
The bill was unanimously approved six to zero by the committee on Tuesday, April 24. It is also supported by the California Police Chiefs Association, California State Sheriffs’ Association, Crime Victims United, and the Junior League of California.