Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is calling on state lawmakers to lift the statute of limitations on rape. Five former Ohio attorneys general, both Democrats and Republicans, are joining Yost in advocating for this change.
Yost says there shouldn’t be a set time frame for when rape charges can be filed.
As of now the statute of limitations for rape is 25 years. As Yost explains, rape is a deeply personal invasion, and can take a victim many years to speak out.
“Make no mistake about it, the damage that is done in the commission of this crime for many people leaves them unable to even face it, much less talk with anyone about it,” says Yost.
Ending the statute of limitations for rape has garnered more support, including from Gov. Mike DeWine, since a report from the Ohio State University found former sports doctor Richard Strauss sexually assaulted more than 170 student athletes.
“I don’t think that a rapist ought to be able to run out the clock on justice at the end of the day, that’s what this is about,” Yost says.
Other former Ohio attorneys general signing the letter from Yost include Lee Fisher, Betty Montgomery, Jim Petro, Nancy Rogers, and Richard Cordray.
Rep. Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) and Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) are sponsoring a bill to modernize Ohio’s rape code, including lifting the statute of limitations on rape.
“Ohio’s outdated criminal and civil rape codes fail victims and limit their ability to seek the justice they deserve. We are proud to continue leading the fight to ensure all victims of rape and sexual assault receive justice, and modernizing Ohio’s rape code is the first step," the lawmakers said in a statement.
Their proposal would eliminate both the statute of limitations for criminal and civil sex crimes and spousal exemptions for rape, sexual battery, and other sexual offenses.