Ohio lawmakers are considering a bill that would wipe out the statute of limitations for rape crimes. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports.
Right now in Ohio, if you are a victim of rape, you have 20 years to come forward to bring charges against the person who raped you. Democratic State Senator Nina Turner is one of the sponsors of a bill that would change that.
Turner: "I’m not so sure why the state of Ohio has done it but we have the opportunity right now to correct that – to take away the statute of limitations. There are about 23 states right now that do not have a statute of limitations on rape."
Another sponsor of the bill, Democrat Capri Cafaro, says some people in her district were deprived the opportunity to bring justice against their rapists because of the statute of limitations that’s currently on the books.
Cafaro: "At the beginning of this year, there were a handful of men who were once boys who came forward about being sexually abused by their baseball coach at their high school. This happened in the late 80’s and 90’s. So they are just outside of the 20 year statute of limitations. And I certainly feel that justice should not have a time limit. These individuals have already been victimized once, they’ve developed the courage to come forward and I’m sure there are many like them that have been violated in some way. It takes time to build up that courage. And they should not be violated twice when they come forward and learn that just because they show up 21 years later, justice walks away from them."
It’s not just Democrats who have signed on to the bill. Senator Turner says Republican Senator Jim Hughes is also a sponsor. She says other Republicans are supporting the bill too. She says its chance of passage is good.
Turner: "This is a matter of justice. All of us should be able to unite around this. It is our hope that this is passed before we go on recess, or minimally summer recess, but even if it takes toward the end of the year, we should be able to get this passed this year."