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Reps. Galonski, Smith introduce bill to end the statute of limitations for rape

Lawmakers say bill gives victims better opportunity for justice
May 1, 2018
Democrat Newsroom

State Reps. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today introduced legislation to eliminate Ohio’s current 25-year statute of limitations for rape. More than half of U.S. states do not have limits on when victims can file rape claims.

“Victims of rape, no matter how far removed from their trauma, deserve to be heard and have an opportunity for justice,” said Rep. Galonski. “Technology has changed, and our laws should reflect that.”

Statutes of limitations have historically protected against convictions rooted in deteriorated evidence. Advocates for eliminating Ohio’s 25-year limit, however, argue that recent advances in DNA testing technology have eliminated many of these concerns.

“This legislation will help Ohio victims turn the page from a difficult chapter in their life,” said Rep. Smith. “Justice delayed is always better than justice denied.”

According to the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, 1 in 5 women have been the victim of rape in their lifetime, which amounts to approximately 743,000 women in Ohio.

The proposed legislation is currently awaiting a bill number and committee assignment, where it receive its initial hearings.