Woman fighting to get rid of statute of limitations on sexual assault

A metro area woman claims she was raped 10 years ago by a one-time boyfriend, but can't get justice because of Minnesota's statute of limitation laws regarding sexual assault.

Julia Bodin is now going public with her story hoping she can change the system.

"He raped me three times during our relationship,” said the now 27-year-old Bodin on Friday. “The first time was actually 10 years ago today."

Bodin reports that she still has nightmares about her alleged rapist and the sexual assaults she claims she endured a decade ago as a high school senior. She was 17. He was 21 at the time.

"He just started forcing himself on me and pushed me down and I was telling him no. And to stop it,” recalled Bodin, who was shaking and emotional during her interview.

Bodin told FOX 9 that it took years for her to come to terms with what happened.

Last summer, she finally found the strength to report the alleged assaults to law enforcement in Anoka County.
She explained that after a months-long review, prosecutors recently told her statute of limitations on sexual assault crimes in Minnesota meant their hands were tied and there would be no charges.

"I didn't realize how traumatized I was and all of the things I was feeling,” said Bodin.

Feeling wronged by the criminal justice system, the paralegal has sought to change it. Earlier this week, Julia posted a change.org petition, demanding that the legislature get rid of the statute of limitations on rape. She argues that there is no time deadline when it comes to murder in the state. She believes that is not right.

"It was all very confusing for me,” said Bodin. “I don't think I had a great understanding of consent. It took me many years to realize the magnitude of what happened."

Experts, including prosecutors and advocates who spoke to FOX 9, point to a tangled web of rules when it comes to victim-survivors who wait to report their attacks..

"I can't even tell you how terrible, how devastating, how much it compounds the trauma when someone is finally ready to come forward. It takes so much courage. And then be told if only you had done it last year, made a report last month. But it's too late for you,” said Kristen Houlton Sukura, the Executive Director at the Sexual Violence Center in Minneapolis. Houlton Sukura supports streamlining the statute of limitation laws.

The laws for statute of limitation on sexual assault vary widely in Minnesota depending on whether DNA evidence was initially collected (in that case there is no time limit), the age of the victim and the year the alleged rape occurred.

FOX 9 spoke to prosecutors in Anoka County about Bodin’s allegations.

They insist no final decision has been made and that it remains an open investigation.         

For more information about statute of limitation laws, click here.