Making the right move
On Monday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine called on the legislature to abolish the state’s statute of limitations on sexual assault.
Currently, the statute of limitations for rape is 20-25 years, other felony sex crimes have a limitation of as little as six years and civil lawsuits must be filed within one to two years.
DeWine’s remarks come in the wake of revelations that Richard Strauss, the ex-athletic doctor at The Ohio State University, abused at least 177 male students between the years of 1979 and 1998.
While Strauss committed suicide in 2005, if he were alive today, the current law means that he could not be prosecuted for a large amount of his alleged crimes.
We have seen other states reform their statute of limitations of laws in recent years.
One of the prime motivators in this is the case of disgraced comedian Bill Cosby.
While more than 50 women came forward, alleging rape and sexual assault against Cosby, the overwhelming majority of these allegations fell outside the statute of limitations in the states where such assaults were reported to have taken place.
In fact, when Cosby was ultimately convicted in Pennsylvania of indecent assault and sent to prison, the case in question, that of Andrea Constand, was nearing the limit for which it could be prosecuted.
There are many reasons accusers don’t come forward immediately against an accuser, whether it’s the accused’s position of power, the climate in the community or simply being too traumatized at the time.
That does not mean that a perpetrator should be off the hook and we are glad DeWine is advocating this change in the law, which will help victims.