MINNEAPOLIS - Ten years ago, Julia Bodin was a senior in high school.
Her boyfriend, she says at the time, was 21-years old; and her boyfriend, she says, at the time sexually assaulted her more than once...but back then, she said nothing.
“I think all of those experiences were really confusing to me. I didn't really know exactly what to call them in the beginning,” Bodin said today.
She has a hard time even now talking about them but she reached out because of what happened to her recently, almost a year after she told police about those assaults back in 2007.
“I finally just decided to speak up, say something. I went to the police and decided to report him even though it had been so long. I wanted something to be written down,” Bodin said.
She came forward last summer. She said investigators were incredibly supportive and worked her case for some time. She said recently those investigators came to a conclusion that charges could not be filed.
The reason was simple, but, frustrating and it has everything to do with the Minnesota statute of limitations regarding sexual assaults.
In Julia’s case, it works out this way. From the time of her alleged assaults, she had nine years to report it. Once that time passed, her time to report was expired.
The other scenario was if and when she reported it prior to that nine-year deadline, she would have three years to follow through. It was that second one that proved a problem.
Years after she and her then-boyfriend broke up, Julia said she went to college. She said one night on campus that ex-boyfriend began texting saying he was coming to see her. She called campus security to tell them to not let him near her and she explained their history. Apparently, that can be interpreted as reporting Julia said, even though law enforcement was never notified.
Julia admits being devastated, but then she got to work.
“I decided to start the petition to end the statute of limitations on rape in Minnesota because it's not a crime that you get over, it's not something that stops affecting your life,” she said.
This law varies by state. More than 30 have limitations similar to Minnesota’s but more than a dozen have no statute of limitations on sexual assault claims by victims.
Julia wants Minnesota to join the latter group of states.
“It’s not helping people wanting to come forward and report if they realize that they are going to get turned away because of an arbitrary time frame,” she said.
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