Alleged Golden State Killer may not serve time for sexual assaults due to statute of limitations

Alleged Golden State Killer Joseph DeAngelo, 72, may finally be headed to jail, if convicted of murder, but attorneys have noted that the public should not expect him to be put away for sexual assault, despite once being known as the East Area Rapist, as reported by WWLP.

In addition to multiple murders, the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office is looking to prosecute DeAngelo for three rapes he allegedly committed in the 1970s. Senior Trial Attorney for the Bay Area Law Firm Summit Defense, Rabin Nabizadeh, said, however, these charges are not likely to stick due to California’s statute of limitations for sexual assault cases.

“In criminal actions, generally speaking, the more serious the crime, the longer the statute of limitations,” he said. “But once that statute of limitations has passed, essentially the court no longer has jurisdiction to even hear the matter.”

California waived their 10-year statute of limitations for rape cases in 2016 but it is not retroactive, meaning DeAngelo’s alleged assaults happened too long ago to be prosecuted. Murder, as opposed to sexual assault, has no statute of limitations, a fact Nabizadeh was quick to point out.

“For murder, there is no statute of limitations,” he 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.”

Joseph DeAngelo has been implicated in 12 murders and more than 50 rapes throughout the 1970s and 1980s and was finally arrested on Tuesday after a decades-long search, as previously reported by CrimeOnline.

[Featured Image: Joseph DeAngelo/Sacramento County Sheriff]