On November 13, 2019, the Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on Senate Bill 162: Eliminate Statute of Limitations for Rape; Spousal Exceptions, sponsored by Senators Nickie Antonio and Sean O’Brien. There is also a companion bill in the House, House Bill 279: Removes Limits on Prosecuting and Proving Certain Sex Offenses, sponsored by Representatives Boggs and Galonski. 

OAESV has been involved in previous efforts to remove the Statute of Limitations, including an effort that resulted in a modified bill that, instead of eliminating the statute of limitations, increased it to 25 years with a 5-year DNA match extension. As an agency, we believed that this incremental improvement was better than no improvement at all, but we know that the only way to ensure justice for all survivors is to eliminate the SOL completely, and we will never stop fighting until that goal is achieved.

Unfortunately, bills are only guaranteed one hearing after they are referred to committee. This bill is received its only guaranteed hearing on November 13th, during which the sponsors were the only parties allowed to testify (this is standard first hearing procedure). Without support from member programs, individual citizens, and other groups, we are at great risk of never having another hearing.

Follow these links for further details on the two companion bills:

This Bill Needs Your Support

Supporters of this bill and of OAESV, including local rape crisis programs and other OAESV members, can email the following messages to (1) their own Senator; (2) each member of the Senate Judiciary Committee; (3) cosponsors. We will send a more thorough call to action soon that will be specific to rape crisis centers. For more on the importance of this bill, read our blog post on the topic.

Messages to Your Own Senator

Dear Senator ________ :

I am sending this email to request your support for Senate Bill 162, a bill that would remove the criminal statute of limitations for 2907.02 Rape. [I/We] believe that offenders must be held accountable no matter when a survivor is ready to report. Rape is rape, no matter when the offense occurred. Please reach out to the Senate Judiciary Committee to request a proponent hearing for this bill, and vote yes when it comes to the Senate floor.

Thank you,

[name], [affiliation if applicable]

Messages to Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee:

Dear Senator ________:

I am sending this email to urge you to hold a proponent hearing for Senate Bill 162, a bill that seeks to remove the criminal statute of limitations for Sec. 2907.02 Rape. The recent case of Dr. Richard Strauss highlights what Ohio survivors and rape crisis programs already know – abusers know that survivors often will not be ready to report until it is too late for justice. Survivors in 28 states have no limitation on the pursuit of justice. Proponents of this bill deserve the opportunity to share our expertise on delayed reporting and answer questions to the committee.

Regards,

[name], [affiliation if applicable]

Messages to Cosponsors:

Dear Senator ______________:

I am writing to thank you for co-sponsoring Senate Bill 162. Removing the statute of limitations for rape is critical for survivor recovery and offender accountability.

In support,

[name], [applicable affiliation]

How to Find Recipients and Their Contact Information

Find Your Senator

You can use this web tool to find your senator. All Ohio senators have the same public email address, [last name]@ohiosenate.gov.

Contact Information for Co-Sponsors

Contact Information for Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee

Escape