Ohio could erase time limits in rape cases
Rape cases may not have a statute of limitation in Ohio if a new bill gets passed.
Ohio Senate Bill 162 could end the 25-year statute of limitation on rape cases, reports the Sandusky Register. The bill would also eliminate “spousal exception,” a loophole that allows people to rape or sexually assault their spouse “as long as no ‘threat of force or violence’ exists.”
The bill also seeks to require biological evidence in rape and attempted rape investigations to be preserved “as long as the offense remains unsolved,” the newspaper reports.
Current Ohio law defines rape as engaging in sexual conduct with another person who is not the spouse of the alleged offender. A spouse can be a victim of rape if he or she is living separate and apart from the alleged offender. State law also considers sexual conduct on someone who is impaired by drugs, intoxicants or controlled substance to be rape. Sexual conduct with anyone younger than 13 years of age is also considered rape in Ohio.
The punishment for sex crimes in Ohio depends upon whether the crime is deemed a misdemeanor or a felony. Most rape charges are considered a felony.
The harshest penalties come with first-degree felonies where the accused could face up to 11 years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines. Second-degree felonies can lead to 8 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. Third-degree felonies are punishable by 60 months in prison and up to $10,000 in fines while fourth-degree felonies can lead up to 18 months in prison and up to $5,000 fines. The lowest tier felony is a fifth-degree felony which can include up to $2,500 in fines and up to 12 months in prison.
Those found guilty of rape and other sex crimes could be required to register as a sex offender after their prison sentence, sometimes for the rest of their lives. Tier I sex offenders are required to register once a year with a county sheriff for 15 years. Tier II sex offenders are required to register every 180 days or twice a year with a county sheriff for 25 years. Tier III sex offenders are required to register every 90 days or four times a year with a county sheriff for the rest of his or her life.
In our experience, many people believe that sexual crimes are usually committed by complete strangers but many times, the alleged offenders in these cases are typically people that the alleged victims knew personally like friends or family.
Whether your accused of rape or a victim of sexual assault, cases of rape can be a traumatic and life-altering experience. An experienced attorney can help clear the name of the falsely accused and get victims the justice they seek.