There are statutes of limitations on criminal charges, including sex offenses. This means that the authorities have a certain amount of time in order to file criminal charges against people. Consequently, things from the past may come back in the future, and cause serious legal issues for people in Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. This was the case with some of the recent sexual assault allegations that have been made against actor and comedian, Bill Cosby.
Just weeks prior to the statute of limitation’s expiration, Mr. Cosby was arrested and charged with sexual assault. The famed comedian was reportedly accused of drugging and violating a woman in his Cheltenham Township home in 2004. There is a 12-year statute of limitations on these charges. If he is convicted, Mr. Cosby could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
Recently, Mr. Cosby’s attorneys asked for the charges against him to be dismissed. They claim that they were filed in violation of an agreement that was reached in 2005 between the authorities in Pennsylvania and Mr. Cosby’s legal team at the time. According to reports, Mr. Cosby agreed to testify fully in the woman’s civil lawsuit against him in exchange for the guarantee that he would not be charged. His attorneys suggest that the district attorney in Montgomery County filed the charges in an effort to strengthen his re-election campaign.
Even just the allegations of sex offenses can have life-changing consequences. Thus, those who are facing such charges may benefit from obtaining legal representation. An attorney may look out for their rights and help them to build a solid criminal defense.
Source: NBCNews, “Cosby Asks for Dismissal of Pennsylvania Sex Assault Charges,” Jon Schuppe and Chelsea Damberg, Jan. 11, 2016