Rescind Ohio’s time limit on rape prosecution
In April, a grand jury in Cleveland indicted a man for rape in an assault that allegedly occurred while he held a knife to his victim’s throat and threatened to kill her. Prosecutors and grand jurors had to act fast. Had the indictment been delayed by just two days, it could not have been returned.
That is because the rape occurred in 1993 – and Ohio has a 20-year statute of limitations on sexual assault charges. A bill introduced in the state Senate would eliminate that, making it possible to prosecute rapists no matter how long ago they committed their crimes.
Especially in view of advances in DNA technology – and Attorney General Mike DeWine’s campaign to have old “rape kit” evidence retrieved and tested – the 20-year limit makes no sense.
Rape is a crime of extraordinary violence, second only to murder. There is no statute of limitations in murder cases.
Ohio legislators should rescind the limit on rape prosecutions, too.