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Strengthen Ohio’s Sex Crimes Laws

Some Ohio lawmakers are trying again with legislation that would eliminate any time limit for filing charges regarding criminal and civil sex crimes. The bill would also get rid of spousal exemptions for rape, sexual battery and other sex crimes.

“Justice for victims of sexual assault should not have an expiration date,” said state Rep. Tavia Galonski, D-Akron. “This legislation right-sizes our laws to empower some of the most vulnerable Ohioans who were not able to receive timely justice under the current statutes.”

In addition to removing the time limit for prosecution, the legislation would eliminate a loophole that keeps prosecutors from seeking justice in spousal rape cases where no “threat of force or violence” exists.

“Ohio allows someone to engage in unwanted sexual conduct if that person is their spouse, as long as they’re drugged or unconscious,” state Rep. Kristin Boggs, D-Columbus, said in March.

In supporting their reintroduced legislation, Galonski and state Rep. Jessica Miranda, D-Forest Park, noted the effort would bring Ohio in line with changes to felony sex crime laws in other states, including West Virginia. But past efforts have fallen flat as they gained little support from across the aisle. Justice for victims of sex crimes should not be a Republican or Democratic issue. Ohio lawmakers should give this renewed attempt better consideration than it has received in years past.


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