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Tuesday August 21st 2007 marked a historic day for sexual assault victims in the state of Connecticut. Thanks to the commitment and motivation of Jean Henry (Legislative Program Manager from the Office of Policy and Management), the Connecticut State Government and Donna Palomba, the statute of limitations for sexual assault crimes involving DNA evidence has been removed. CT Governor Jodi Rell, Waterbury Mayor Jarjura, Waterbury Police Chief Neil O'Leary, Commissioner Danaher along with several CT senators and representatives gathered at the Waterbury Police Department for the ceremonial signing of this important section of the implementer bill no. 1500 passed in the June special session of the Legislature.

As Governor Rell emphasized, "Make no mistake: Sexual assault is violent crime - it is not a crime of passion. It is violence of the most personal and devastating kind, as brutal in its own right as murder. And it deserves not only harsh punishment but our very best - and unswerving - effort to bring the perpetrators to justice. Today Connecticut takes another step in that direction." After expressing her profound gratitude, Donna Palomba furthered Governor Rell's point by asking "one more thing" of the Connecticut State Legislature, "to make the statute of limitations on sexual assault retroactive." Such an accomplishment would make John Regan, the perpetrator in Donna's case, susceptible to conviction for the crime of sexual assault.

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Legislation Bill

Every state has different laws regarding the crime of sexual assault. The following websites allow you to find the laws in your state;

States vary greatly in their treatment of the statute of limitation for sexual assault. For example, the statute of limitations for sexual assault is five years in Kansas, 10 years in Iowa, 15 years in Massachusetts and without limit in New Jersey.
View a state-by-state breakdown.

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A new law goes into effect Tuesday that provides hope for women who have been victims of sexual assault in Texas.

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> Safety of Domestic Violence Victims Protected with Senate Legislation
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The notion that some sexual predators are pathologically incapable of rehabilitation raises the thorny question of what society does with them once they've completed their full prison sentence.

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State Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Queens) and state Assemblyman Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn) agree on one important point: The sexual abuse of children is a horrific crime, and steps should be taken to prevent its occurrence.

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A bill requiring the state to take DNA samples "following an arrest or a criminal charge for certain offenses" cleared a state House of Representatives committee Tuesday.

> Rep. Allen Vaught and Sen. John Carona file bills in support of rape victims
This week, Representative Allen Vaught and Senator John Carona took steps to give not only closure but justice to rape victims whose cold cases cannot be prosecuted

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ROYALTON — Eight months after the rape and killing of a 12-year-old girl stunned Vermont, the governor Wednesday signed a bill aimed at improving the state’s prosecution of sex crimes.

> Rape Victim Vows: 'We're Not Going Away'
Victims' Advocates Want All 50 States to Lift Statute of Limitation on Rape
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> Legislators Push for Changes to Sex-offender Laws
Lawmakers are looking to protect children and ramp up the sex-offender registry through a pair of bills.

> DNA Law Fact Finder
The Governor of Michigan signs a law that requires people suspected of committing violent felonies to give a sample of their DNA.


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Watch the 2 hour Dateline NBC show of Donna's story 'The Man Behind the Mask' at here.

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