Reps. Fedor, Johnson Push Modernization Of Sexual Assault Laws
House Bill 234 would eliminate the statute of limitations and spousal exceptions for cases of rape and sexual battery
December 01, 2015
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State Reps. Greta Johnson (D-Akron) and Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) offered testimony this afternoon in support of House Bill 234, their legislation to eliminate the statue of limitations on all rape cases and end spousal exemptions for rape and sexual battery.

In the state of Ohio, prosecution for rape must begin within twenty five years of the offense. House Bill 234 would eliminate this time restriction completely and remove the tiered system of justice for victims of sexual assault.

“With every day that passes, another rape victim is denied access to justice,” said Fedor. “Women want to live in a state where they feel safe and are treated equally under the law – the passage of HB 234 will do away with laws that prevent Ohioans from seeking justice for sexual violence.”

In addition to the statute of limitations on all cases, there must be “force or threat of force” for sexual assault perpetrated by a spouse to be considered rape. Cases where a spouse is drugged, for example, would not qualify for prosecution without this proposed law change.

“During my time as a prosecutor, I witnessed appalling cases in which Ohio’s archaic laws on rape and sexual assault barred victims from seeking the justice they deserved. It is far past time to modernize our laws like most states have done and recognize that victims of marital rape deserve full access to justice. Enacting House Bill 234 is not only the moral thing to do, but responsible legislation that will make Ohio a much safer state,” said Johnson. 

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