You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Lawmakers consider dropping statute of limitations for rape cases


State lawmakers are considering a bill to eliminate Ohio’s statute of limitations on rape and sexual battery so that victims and prosecutors may seek justice in rape cases that occurred more than 20 years ago.

State Sen. Nina Turner, D-Cleveland, who is sponsoring the bill, said, “Aside from being just plain good public policy, Senate Bill 83 will accomplish three things: empower the victims of these horrible crimes, assist law enforcement in bringing criminals to justice and help keep our communities safe.”

She added, “It is a well-known fact that the impact of sexual trauma lasts a lifetime and certainly does not fade after only 20 years.”

The bill has the support of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, whose office runs the BCI&I crime labs. But Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys’ Association lobbyist John Murphy said his group will only back the bill if it includes a requirement that DNA evidence be used in sexual assault cases that are more than 20 years old.

Turner said she doesn’t want to include a DNA requirement. “I think that’s doing an injustice to the victim,” she said.

Turner said 28 states do not have a statute of limitations for prosecuting rape cases.

In recent years, Ohio has seen biological evidence retained from long-ago rapes match DNA profiles collected from inmates and arrestees. In some of those instances, the rapes occurred more than 20 years ago so criminal charges could not be pursued.

The Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab has seen three such instances within the last five years, said Denise Rankin, the lab’s assistant director. The lab got DNA hits matching three men to three female rape victims who were attacked in 1987 and 1990, she said.

The Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab has retained evidence in cases dating back to the 1980s. Rankin said if the statute of limitations on rape is dropped, the lab would look for DNA matches on hundreds of cases from before 1993.

“I think that would be a great idea given some of the old cases we have looked at,” Rankin said. “…We would definitely get with our detectives and agencies and see what we could do with those cases.”

Ohio has made national headlines with the Steubenville rape case and allegations of kidnapping, rape and long-term imprisonment of three women in Cleveland. State Sen. Capri Cafaro, D-Hubbard, a co-sponsor of the bill, said the time is right for reform.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Springfield residents to ask city leaders about finances, tax increase
Springfield residents to ask city leaders about finances, tax increase

The city of Springfield will host financial forums one month before voters decide on an income tax increase at the polls on May 2. The forums are open to the public and will include presentations on both the city’s financial status and the upcoming tax issue. It will also include time for residents to ask questions, Deputy City Manager Bryan...
Clark County drug overdose deaths reach record number
Clark County drug overdose deaths reach record number

Clark County saw a record number of accidental drug overdose deaths last year, which local leaders said was caused by the opioid epidemic that’s spread across the country. The majority of the 79 drug deaths in Clark County last year involved heroin and illicit fentanyl, Clark County Coroner Dr. Richard Marsh said. Many of the deaths involve multiple...
Springfield voting precinct leaving church location
Springfield voting precinct leaving church location

A Springfield polling location is being permanently moved to a new building. The voting location for city precincts 2 and 3 — previously at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1612 S. Belmont Ave. — will now be located at Developmental Disabilities of Clark County, 2527 Kenton St. The change will take place immediately, according to the Clark County...
Senators, congressman to tour Wright-Patterson Friday
Senators, congressman to tour Wright-Patterson Friday

Five U.S. senators will tour Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on Friday for an inside look at the base’s military operations, officials say. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio and co-chairman of the Senate Air Force Caucus, will be joined by caucus co-chairman John Boozman, R-Arkansas. Senate Armed Services Committee members Jack Reed, D-R.I., Mazie...
Smoking in a car with kids could bring $500 fine in Ohio
Smoking in a car with kids could bring $500 fine in Ohio

People who smoke in cars with kids under age 6 could face a $500 fine if a bill proposed by a state lawmaker becomes law. “They have no say in getting into an enclosed vehicle with someone who is smoking,” said sponsor Sen. Charletta Tavares, D-Columbus. “Their little lungs breathe deeper, particularly infants. They breathe deeper...
More Stories