A law proposed by Ohio’s state legislation would extend the statute of limitations for sex crimes, such as rape and sexual battery, in order to better combat sexual assault. This decision comes after the state announced its plans to place an increased focus on fighting sexual assault through government programs that will ultimately help solve reported cases of rape and other crimes.
According to the Associated Press, the recently introduced bill would allow prosecutors to file charges 20 years after DNA evidence is found in rape and sexual battery cases, regardless of when the actual crime occurred. Ohio’s current law states that prosecutors can file charges 20 years after the crime allegedly took place—which falls behind a number of other states, according to prosecutor James Schneider.
The proposed law coincides with a 2011 initiative that offers free DNA testing to law enforcement offices with untested rape kits to help solve sexual assault reports. According to a report from earlier this year, the testing has resulted in more than 2,000 DNA matches in a criminal database. In just Cuyahoga County where the city of Cleveland resides, the testing has caused 247 criminals to be indicted. Some criminal cases date as far back as the early ‘90s.