Ohio attorney general calls for ending state’s statute of limitations on rape charges

Ohio attorney general calls for ending state’s statute of limitations on rape charges
GF Default - Ohio attorney general calls for ending the statutes of limitations on rape charges

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio Attorney General David Yost, as well as several former attorneys general, are calling to eliminate the statute of limitations for sexual abuse in the state.

Yost, with five other former attorneys general, submitted a letter to Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof asking that state lawmakers consider treating rape crimes like murder charges.

Currently, there is a 20-year statute of limitations for rape in Ohio. Murder has no limit on when charges can be presented to suspects.

Yost and his supporters say that the change could make it easier for victims to speak up and report a rape.

Eliminating the statute of limitations would not lead to unjust convictions, the letter reads, because the prosecution would still be responsible for proving their case.

“Under our system of justice, the State must prove all elements of an offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Virtually all rape prosecutions that fail do so because the State fails to carry its burden of proof. The passage of time weighs most heavily on the prosecution, not the defense.”

Former Ohio attorneys general Betty Montgomery and Nancy Rogers joined Yost at a news conference to discuss the push for change.

“We can’t let a rapist run out the clock on justice,” Yost said.

Ohio attorney general calls for ending the statutes of limitations on rape charges

Gov. Mike DeWine made a similar request in May as the ongoing sex abuse scandal at Ohio State University involving former doctor Richard Strauss and more than 170 male students came to light.

Copyright 2019 WOIO. All rights reserved.