State Senator Larry Obhof (R-Medina) announced that today Governor John Kasich signed into law House Bill 6, which advances the state’s efforts to deliver justice for victims of sexual violence.
House Bill 6 extends the statute of limitations for initiating prosecution in a case of rape or sexual battery from 20 to 25 years. The bill also extends the statute of limitations where a suspect is implicated by DNA evidence. Senator Obhof co-sponsored the bill.
"This legislation ensures that prosecutors have the ability to seek justice for victims when a DNA match is found," said Obhof.
Under House Bill 6, once a DNA match is determined, prosecutors will have the opportunity to seek an indictment for a period of five years, even if that period extends beyond the state’s new 25-year statute of limitations. Ohio now joins more than two dozen other states that include a DNA exemption in their statute of limitations for such crimes.
In 2011, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) began working with local law enforcement agencies to get rid of the state’s backlog in testing rape kits. Since that time, 186 different law enforcement agencies from across the state have submitted more than 10,000 kits for testing. Of the 7,814 kits already tested as part of this initiative, BCI has found 2,887 matches to profiles in the state’s Combined DNA Index System.
House Bill 6 received support from Attorney General Mike DeWine and advocacy groups who provide services to the victims of sexual abuse. The new law went into effect immediately upon Governor Kasich’s signature.