Joseph DeAngelo is likely facing the rest of his life behind bars, but due to the statute of limitations on rape and sex crimes in California, DeAngelo may only serve that time because of the murders and not the rapes.
The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office is looking into prosecuting DeAngelo for at least three rapes he’s believed to have committed in Davis in the 70s.
But Senior Trial Attorney for the Bay Area Law Firm Summit Defense Rabin Nabizadeh says if those charges are ever filed, they most likely won’t stick.
“In criminal actions, generally speaking, the more serious the crime, the longer the statute of limitations,” Nabizadeh said. “But once that statute of limitations has passed, essentially the court no longer has jurisdiction to even hear the matter.”
Until January 1 of 2017, in California, the statute of limitations on rape and other sex crimes was 10 years.
That statute was eliminated in 2016 in response to the #MeToo movement and the Bill Cosby case, but it is not retroactive.
“The law as passed in 2016 applies only to crimes committed after Jan. 1, 2017,” Nabizadeh said.
Marc Klaas is president of the Klaas Kids Foundation.
He says the ability to prosecute someone for violent crimes, should not have an expiration date.
“You can commit a horrible crime, you can rape a woman, you can rape a child and because of some arbitrary date, if you can somehow get passed that, you can eliminate or you can, you can escape any kind of punishment for the crime and that’s absolutely incorrect and that’s wrong,” Klaas said.
The Golden State Killer is connected to 12 murders and about 50 rapes dating back to the 70s and 80s.
“For murder, there is no statute of limitations,” Nabizadeh said. “So, what I think is going to happen in this case is this man is going to spend the rest of his life in prison.”