Cosby sexual assault victims had a big victory today in Colorado. After a year of rallying to have the statute of limitations either abolished or extended, Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill that changed the statute of limitations for pursuing sexual abuse charges from 10 years to 20.
The revision comes after a hard fight where Cosby victims Beth Ferrier, Heidi Thomas and Helen Hayes, recounted their painful stories for lawmakers in order to show the importance of changing the statute. Ferrier dated Cosby briefly in the ’80s before he drugged and assaulted her. Thomas shared a similar account of her assault at the hands of Bill Cosby, and Hayes, a California resident and Cosby survivor, is now fighting for her home state to change their law, too.
Colorado is just the latest state to expand the statute after lobbying from Cosby survivors. Last year, they succeeded in Nevada. Victims of sexual assault now have 20 years to report the abuse, as opposed to four, and the change in Colorado will go into effect July 1, allowing victims, who previously wouldn’t have been able to press charges, come forward and seek justice. Thomas said, “You get a law passed like this, there’s tangible proof that somebody listened.”