The Ohio House of Representatives today passed legislation that extends the limitation time for prosecuting rape or sexual battery from 20 to 25 years.


“House Bill 6, if signed into law, has the potential to help thousands of sexual assault survivors across the state of Ohio,” said Rep. Sarah LaTourette (R-Bainbridge Township), who cosponsored the bill with Rep. Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard). “Short of murder, there is no more heinous violation of a person’s rights than sexual assault. I am so proud to have played even a small part in helping these survivors obtain the justice they deserve.”


Current law prohibits prosecution of offenses like rape and sexual battery after 20 years of the incident taking place. If the victim is a minor, the 20-year period begins once the victim turns 18. House Bill 6 provides that, in cases where a DNA record made in connection with the criminal investigation matches another DNA record of an identifiable person, there are two potential options:



  1. If the determination is made after 25 years of the offense occurring, then prosecution of that person for the offense may begin within five years after the determination

  2. If the determination is made within 25 years of the offense occurring, then prosecution of the offender may begin within whatever period of time is longer: 25 years after the offense is committed or five years after the determination


“This bill provides a greater opportunity to secure justice for survivors,” Rep. Kunze said. “I am committed to not allowing another day go by where a criminal escapes prosecution for such heinous crimes.”


Beyond just rape or sexual battery, House Bill 6 also includes conspiracy or attempt to commit, or complicity in committing, rape or sexual battery.


A piece of priority legislation, HB 6 passed with vast bipartisan support in both the House Judiciary Committee and on the House floor. It now will go to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

 
 
 
  
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