LA Legal Expert Says Statute of Limitations for Bill Cosby Rape Claims "Long Past" | NBC Southern California

LA Legal Expert Says Statute of Limitations for Bill Cosby Rape Claims "Long Past"

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    A legal expert weighs in on Bill Cosby’s silence over sexual assault accusations. Beverly White reports from Hollywood for the NBC4 News at 11 on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. (Published Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014)

    A Los Angeles legal expert has said the time for taking legal action over rape claims made against Bill Cosby has "long past."

    More than a dozen women have come forward to accuse the 77-year-old comedy star, who is best known for iconic 80s sitcom The Cosby Show, however he has denied any wrongdoing.

    Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson said Wednesday that even if the claims have merit, there is no longer any prospect of them legal action being taken.

    "All of this might have very well happened, but this was years ago, and we have something called a statute of limitation, which means you have to bring the criminal charges or the lawsuit within a certain period of time. That time is pretty much long past.," Levenson said.

    The most high profile accuser so far is model Janice Dickinson, who alleged he drugged and raped her, a claim Cosby's attorney Marty Singer said is a "complete lie."

    Cosby, who settled a civil suit in 2006 with another woman over an alleged incident,  has refused to comment on the alligations, and Levenson believes there is a good reason he could be doing so.

    "Even if her responded to one of the women, it seems that there is a whole line more who's going to make these alligations against him and he may not have a response to all of them," Levenson said.

    The comedian's former Cosby Show co-star Raven-Symoné, 28, publicly denied Wednesday she was ever taken advantage of, posting on Instagram, "I was practically a baby on that show and this is truly a disgusting rumor that I want no part of."

    He was also backed by a Cynthia Baker, who is a sex assault survivor from Los Angeles.

    "Every time a black man grows into something important there is always a way to bring him down," she told NBC4 at Second Ame Church.

    On Wednesday it was confirmed NBC scrapped a sitcom that was in development with the star, while and TV Land confirmed it will stop airing reruns of The Cosby Show.

    The news came a day after Netflix said it would be postponing the Nov. 27 premiere of Cosby's comedy special.

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