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New York's Top Prosecutor Unaware Rape Statute Changed

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – Earlier this week WBFO told you about the elimination of a statute of limitations that will help police and prosecutors with future rape cases. Surprisingly, it is an historic change in the law of which even some top officials are unaware. WBFO's Joyce Kryszak's has this update on the story.

State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo was in Buffalo Tuesday to announce a new partnership to clean-up a backlog of homicide cases in the city.

He said his offer to lend the City three of his assistant attorneys, free of charge, is real, contrary to the old joke that government being able to help is an oxymoron.

But, sadly, there is at least one example where government communication and coordination seems to have broken down.

A key piece of legislation in fighting violent crime has apparently gone unnoticed by the state's top law enforcement official.

As reported on Monday by WBFO, Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark explains that the five-year statute of limitations on B-felony sexual assaults was eliminated by the state legislature last June.

The issue came to light following the arrest of a suspect in the Bike Path rapist killer cases. The new law is not retroactive, However, it has immense implication for all cases going forward.

But Cuomo was unaware the law was changed.

Cuomo responded Tuesday to a question from another media outlet about whether or not the statute should be dropped.

The Attorney General reasponded that it is a complicated issue with good arguements on both sides.

Cuomo, however, is not alone in his ignorance of the law change.

Clark said is surprised by how the historic law change has slipped under the radar screen.

He said much of the media - and the public - are still largely unaware of the change that will dramatically effect how all rape cases are investigated and prosecuted in the future.

Click the "listen" icon above to hear Joyce Kryszak's story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.