Bill Cosby has been accused of rape by dozens of women but only a handful of them will be able to take any kind of legal action due to statute of limitations that legally absolves rapists of any accountability of their crime(s) after a specified amount of time has passed. If that sounds like a problematic concept to you, you’re not alone.

California Governor Jerry Brown has now signed a bill that officially ended the state’s statute of limitations on rape cases, according to Reuters. The law takes effect on January 1, 2017. 

“Governor Jerry Brown’s signature of SB 813 tells every rape and sexual assault victim in California that they matter and that, regardless of when they are ready to come forward, they will always have an opportunity to seek justice in a court of law,” said Senator Connie Leyva, who wrote the bill.

“Rapists should never be able to evade legal consequences simply because an arbitrary time limit has expired,” she continued.

Unfortunately, the new law will not affect any of the accusations brought up against Cosby. But it does give hope that victims of rape and sexual assault will be able to come out and feel as though they’re protected in doing so.

Photo Credit: Wiki Commons