California governor Jerry Brown signed state Senate Bill 813 into law recently. The bill removes the statute of limitations on rape cases in California courts.

Previously, California law stipulated that prosecution for rape offenses take place no more than 10 years after the purported offense, according to Reuters. With this change, alleged offenses that reach the 10-year-mark after January 1, 2017, are eligible for prosecution without time constraints.

Allegations that reached the previous statute of limitations before January 1, 2017, are subject to the previous law, as the bill is not retroactive, according to BoingBoing.

The bill’s author, state senator Connie Leyva, praised Brown for standing behind her legislation.

"Rapists should never be able to evade legal consequences simply because an arbitrary time limit has expired," she said, according to Reuters.

"Governor Jerry Brown's signature of SB 813 tells every rape and sexual assault victim in California that they matter and that, regardless of when they are ready to come forward, they will always have an opportunity to seek justice in a court of law.”

Reuters said inspiration for Leyva’s bill included rape allegations against actor and comedian Bill Cosby.

Cosby is awaiting trial in Pennsylvania for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home in 2004, according to Reuters. He also is fighting a civil suit in California against a woman who claims the embattled star abused her when she was 15 at the Playboy Mansion in 1974.