End the statute of limitations on rape in Minnesota.
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When I was 17 years old, I was in an abusive relationship with a 21 year old man who raped me multiple times. I finally gained the strength to report him to law enforcement nearly ten years later. My case was investigated in Anoka County and referred for prosecution. Per the Rape, Incest, and Abuse National Network, only about 3% of reported cases make it this far (https://www.rainn.org/statistics/criminal-justice-system The prosecutor was adamant that she believed me. However, she was unable to charge my case due to a loophole in the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations when a person who is under 18 is raped in Minnesota is 9 years from when it happened or 3 years from when the rape is reported (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=628.26 I reported my rapes in July 2016, which should have meant prosecutors had until July 2019 to charge my rapist. However, when I was in college in the fall of 2007, my rapist sent me unwanted text messages indicating he was coming to see me (four hours away). I reported these to campus security and told them for context that these texts were from my abuser and rapist. This, according to the law right now, counted as reporting my rapes to law enforcement, and started the three year statute of limitations ticking. Put simply, reporting further harassment by my rapist precluded his being charged.
I write to ask two things.
One, rape should not come with a statute of limitations, even if DNA has not been preserved. Several states do not have statutes of limitations on rape (http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2014/11/rape-statutes-of-limitation-maps-table Murder does not have a statute of limitations. Rape affects its survivors for the rest of their lives. PTSD does not have a "statute of limitations." Flashbacks do not end. Time may heal but as a survivor, I can say without a doubt that time does not erase the terror of having your agency violated in such a severe way.
Second, campus security should under no circumstances be considered law enforcement. Indeed, campus security does not always (and did not in my case) report rapes it hears about to actual law enforcement. Campus security had no jurisdiction over the crimes committed by my rapist. Furthermore, the subject of my reports was the unwanted text messages - over which it did have control - and not the rapes. For the law to be interpeted in this way hurts survivors and lets perpetrators walk free.
Because of the current statute of limitations and interpretation of campus security as law enforcement, my rapist walks free. He has coached high school girls' track and young women's cycling. He is able to continue taking no responsibility and continue perpetrating sexual violence. And this dismissal of charges may embolden him, even though he got off on a technicality.
The current statute of limitations hurt me and hurts victims of rape all across our state. Please end the statute of limitations on rape in our state and make it clear that future victims will not be punished for reporting further harassment by their perpetrators. Thank you.
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