2, Blog Post

Ohio’s rape statute of limitations extended 5 years

Good news: a bill to lift the statute of limitations for rape prosecution is heading to Gov. Kasich’s desk. It gives survivors years additional five years to press charges, for prosecutors to act, and for Ohio’s rape kit testing backlog to catch up. He’ll certainly sign the Republican-sponsored legislation.

“Why isn’t this GREAT news?” you ask.

The answer is simple: Why only 5 years?

This bill, HB 6, moves the bar from 20 to 25 years. However, Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron) and Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) know a statute of limitations on rape should not exist at all. Their HB 234 would completely remove the statute of limitations and redefine spousal rape.

The Republican leadership loves to talk tough against crime, but they’re slow to protect rape victims — Shock! Whether or not they’ll see the logic behind dropping a statute of limitations is yet to be seen.


Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and safe & legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.

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2, Blog Post

#LiftTheStatute of Limitations on Rape in Ohio

NARAL_JohnsonGreta1_20150526

Rape survivors, police, and prosecutors will gain an additional five years to pursue charges against offenders, if the state passes House Bill 6 (or companion Senate Bill 13).

“Great…” you say, “but why just five years? Why not more?”

Exactly. Where HB 6 moves the bar from 20 to 25 years, Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron) and Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) know a statute of limitations on rape should not exist at all. They will introduce legislation to remove the statute of limitations as well as redefine spousal rape.

Video from Marc Kovac

In endorsing HB 6, the Cleveland Plain Dealer asked the same question of “Why five years?” They include an admission from HB 6 sponsor Rep. Sarah LaTourette that there’s less political backbone to support a complete elimination of a statute of limitations for rape:

LaTourette agreed. “But we realized if we edited our legislation to eliminate the statute of limitations, the bill would die. And that doesn’t help anybody.”

“Great…” you say, “but what was that about ‘spousal rape’?”

Ok, this is the part that makes us want to throw up the most: in Ohio, it’s legal to rape your wife as long as you drug her first.

Under the law, married women are denied equal protection from sexual assault. While we have yet to see actual bill language, it is likely that their bill will alter or remove section (A)(1) of the Ohio Revised Code on Rape:

(emphasis added)
2907.02 Rape.
(A)
(1) No person shall engage in sexual conduct with another who is not the spouse of the offender or who is the spouse of the offender but is living separate and apart from the offender, when any of the following applies:
(a) For the purpose of preventing resistance, the offender substantially impairs the other person’s judgment or control by administering any drug, intoxicant, or controlled substance to the other person surreptitiously or by force, threat of force, or deception.
(b) The other person is less than thirteen years of age, whether or not the offender knows the age of the other person.
(c) The other person’s ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age, and the offender knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the other person’s ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age.
(2) No person shall engage in sexual conduct with another when the offender purposely compels the other person to submit by force or threat of force.

If you read section (A)(2) above, ask yourself “Shouldn’t that cover the part about drugging someone? Why would we exempt people who aren’t married?!?!”

There’s the problem, and the reason for action. Stay tuned.


Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.

Contribute to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio