AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Sexual assault victims in Colorado now have a new opportunity to file suit against former abusers.
The newly enacted law went into effect Jan. 1 and creates a new cause of action, effectively setting aside time limits in cases going back to 1960. Victims have three years or until Jan. 1, 2025, to file previously time-barred claims.
“At some point in time during my freshman year, he began to sexually assault me and use his position of trust to con me in or force me to do these things,” said Angelica Saupe, who said she was sexually assaulted by her high school basketball coach. Saupe said this happened between 2000 to 2004 when she was a student at Rangeview High School and played on the basketball team.
According to Saupe, her coach sexually abused her all four years she attended school there. She said the majority of the abuse happened on campus but sometimes off-campus as well.
“You feel like you’ve done something wrong and admitting that is hard. You feel like you’re going to get in trouble,” Saupe said.
A new path after 2007 police report denied
The lawsuit states that Saupe had “at some point come to the realization that the conduct was criminal, but felt powerless to report it for fear of retaliation as a student athlete and because society as a whole is not responsive to minor accusations and victimizes the victim.
Plaintiff did report this about three years later (about age 20) when she felt strong enough to
expose herself to the harsh realities and face the system.
“In about March 2007, Angelica’s memories erupted and she confronted her fears by
filing a police report with Aurora PD. Aurora PD informed Angelica that her claims
were ‘time barred’ by the Colorado statute of limitations and prosecution would not
move forward, case closed.”
James Avery, her Lawyer with Denver Injury Law, is handling a few different cases under this new law.
“The new law that waves the statue of limitations and opened up cases against organizations that are secondarily responsible in these cases,” Avery said. He said that it is often difficult for teens and kids to report abuse to other adults due to all the psychological effects, but that this new law will help give them a second chance.
“This allows her to go to the court house just like she was 19 or 20,” Avery said.
“He’s been living his best life for the last 22 years while I’m living a life that’s affected me in more ways than one,” Saupe said. Saupe said she hopes she gets the justice she deserves.