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Assembly Member Achadjian Presents New Rape Bill to Public

By Rachael Laine, KCOY Central Coast News Reporter, RachaelLaine@kcoy.com
Published On: Dec 20 2013 12:03:37 AM CST
Updated On: Dec 20 2013 12:00:00 AM CST
Rape - Domestic Violence
SANTA MARIA, Calif. -

A Santa Barbara woman is the inspiration behind a new bill, that now protects all victims who have been raped. Governor Jerry Brown approved AB 65 back in September. Assemblyman Katcho Achadijian and Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley presented the signed copy to the public on Thursday.

"I will never forget that terrible night and it will affect me for the rest of my life," Courtney Wettach told us back in September.

Courtney was asleep in her bedroom back in 2009, when a man broke into her house and raped her. She mistook her rapist for her boyfriend, who happened to be sleeping on her couch.

"When I woke up to what was happening and realized that wasn't my boyfriend, I knew that someone had broken in and then I got back up and started screaming," she said.

Courtney's case inspired lawmakers including Assembly Member Katcho Achadijian, to pass a bill that would change the definition of rape.

"We had the defendant. We had the proof. There was no doubt she had been raped, but because of this unjust law we couldn't prosecute," said Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley.

The old law dates back to the 1800s and said if someone was raped by a person pretending to be their partner, it wasn't legally considered rape. After years of fighting on September 9, 2013, Achadjian announced his bill, AB 65, was signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

On Wednesday, Governor Brown's office sent a signed copy of the bill to Dudley and asked her to send the copy to Courtney Wettach.

"We are here and successfully saying that finally justice is served," said Assemblyman, Katcho Achadijian, (R) 35th District, San Luis Obispo.

As for Courtney Wettach, she tells us she now has a sense of peace.

"I'm absolutely thrilled that the bill passed this is a great day for women, for me, and I feel like a sense of justice," said Wetach.

Courtney's rapist will not be prosecuted for this crime, but is already serving 18 years. Dudley says she will mailing the signed copy of the bill to Courtney on Friday.

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