Statute of limitations doesn't apply to Alaska man charged in Michigan sexual assault

4 hours ago

You can’t run out the clock on your crimes by moving out of state. That’s state law and the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld that state law Friday.

Joel James was charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct. But it was alleged to have happen so long ago that, if he’d been living in Michigan consistently since the alleged crime, he could no longer be charged. But James has lived in Alaska for years.

Matthew Wojda is the defendant’s attorney. He says this type of law makes sense for people who know police are after them and leave. But James’ accuser didn’t report to police until years later. Wojda says this is a bad precedent. 

“Somebody can come back decades down the road and say that you’ve done something and you could be subjected to criminal responsibility for it.”

Prosecutors say you should not get away with a crime just because you leave the state.