The district attorney’s office of Montgomery County, Penn., has filed criminal charges against Bill Cosby for an alleged sexual assault that occurred in 2004, narrowly within the 12-year statute of limitations for the crime. Andrea Constand alleged in January 2004 that she was drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby. According to reports, she previously attempted to file criminal charges in 2005, but the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office indicated insufficient evidence and did not pursue the case.

[ File # csp7426063, License # 2152594 ] Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php) (c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / monkeybusiness

It may seem strange that criminal charges can be brought on Cosby 12 years after the alleged crime occurred, but this is not necessarily an unusual occurrence. In California, most sex crimes against adults can be prosecuted with 10 years of the alleged act occurred.

However, depending on the circumstances and meeting certain conditions, criminal charges can be brought against a person at almost anytime, regardless of how long ago the crime occurred.

Under California Penal Code Section 801.1(a), if the crime occurred before Jan. 1, 2015, a qualifying sex crime that occurred against the victim when he or she was under 18 years of age, may be commenced anytime prior to the victim’s 40th birthday. So for example, if a victim was 10 years old when a sex crime was committed against him or her, he or she has 30 years to file criminal charges.The district attorney’s office of Montgomery County, Penn., has filed criminal charges against Bill Cosby for an alleged sexual assault that occurredThe district attorney’s office of Montgomery County, Penn., has filed criminal charges against Bill Cosby for an alleged sexual assault that occurred in 2004 in 2004The district attorney’s office of Montgomery County, Penn., has filed criminal charges against Bill Cosby for an alleged sexual assault that occurred in 2004

Furthermore, California Penal Code Section 803(f) suggests that for certain sex crimes, there is practically no limit as to when you can bring criminal charges against a person. The following conditions for the qualifying sex crimes must be met:

  • The victim was under 18 years of age;
  • The limitation period specified in for that sex crime has already expired;
  • The crime involved substantial sexual conduct; and
  • There is independent evidence that corroborates the victims allegations (if the victim was 21 years of age or older at the time of the report, the independent evidence shall clearly and convincingly corroborate the victim’s allegation).

If all of these conditions are met, California law enforcement has a year to file a criminal complaint for a crime that could have occurred more than 50 years ago.

With more than 35 years of experience representing clients accused of sex offenses, Wallin & Klarich is considered one of the premiere criminal defense law firms in California for sexual related offenses. Attorney Paul Wallin, founding and senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, was dubbed “The White Knight for Accused Child Molesters” in 1985. Having defended hundreds of clients accused of child molestation, Mr. Wallin has a wealth of experience dealing with issues similar to Bill Cosby’s case.

For more information regarding laws regarding sex crimes, please contact Attorney Paul Wallin at pjw@wklaw.com or (714) 730-5300.

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.