O'Brien and Antonio Testify on Bill Ending the Statute of Limitations and Spousal Exemptions for Rape
November 13, 2019
Today, the Ohio Senate held its first hearing on Senate Bill 162, which would eliminate criminal and civil statutes of limitations for rape. If passed, the bill would also close the existing loophole that permits spousal rape. State Sens. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Sean J. O’Brien (D-Bazetta), who sponsored the bill, testified on the need to modernize Ohio’s law.
“Current law does not account for increasingly advanced DNA testing technology or research that demonstrates why survivors of sex crimes wait to come forward,” said Antonio. “There should be no time limit on justice.”
SB 162 will align Ohio with seven other states, including neighboring states Kentucky and West Virginia, that have also eliminated the statute of limitations regarding sex crimes.
“As technology changes in the criminal justice system, we are finding new ways to gain vital information from evidence found at crime scenes,” said O’Brien. “Any perpetrator who could be identified by these new revelations should not be able to hide behind an artificial time constraint.”
The bill would not apply to crimes already past the statute of limitations.
"Ohio continues to be associated with high-profile cases in which offenders can never be held accountable,” said Rosa Beltré, Executive Director of the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence. “Eliminating the statute of limitations for rape would allow survivors in Ohio to be believed and find justice served when they are ready to share their stories and hold their perpetrators accountable. As a state, we need to do better for survivors and their call for justice."
SB 162 now awaits further hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee.