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Rescind 20-year limit in rape cases

June 6, 2013
Salem News

In April, a grand jury in Cleveland indicted a man for rape in an assault that allegedly occurred while he held a knife to his victim's throat and threatened to kill her. Prosecutors and grand jurors had to act fast. Had the indictment been delayed by just two days, it could not have been returned.

That is because the rape occurred in 1993 - and Ohio has a 20-year statute of limitations on sexual assault charges.

A bill introduced in the state Senate would eliminate that, making it possible to prosecute rapists no matter how long ago they committed their crimes.

Especially in view of advances in DNA technology - and Attorney General Mike DeWine's campaign to have old "rape kit" evidence retrieved and tested - the 20-year limit makes no sense.

Rape is a crime of extraordinary violence, second only to murder. There is no statute of limitations in murder cases.

Ohio legislators should rescind the limit on rape prosecutions, too.

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A case involving corrupt public officials in Ohio illustrates why so many taxpayers have little or no faith the law applies equally to everyone.

It involves a state Department of Natural Resources employee who allegedly used his position to help an out-of-state friend avoid paying the full fee for an Ohio hunting license. According to an inspector general's report, five of the officer's superiors knew of the misconduct - but believed it should be disregarded because "past practice" had been to excuse similar crimes.

In other words, if everyone's doing it, it's permissible - even if it's illegal.

Gov. John Kasich should fire everyone involved in the outrageous abuse of public trust.

 
 

 

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