Senate Committee Approves Rape Case Prosecution Extension

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – An Ohio Senate committee has approved a bill that would extend the time period for prosecuting rape and sexual battery to 25 years after the crime.

The bill passed by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee Wednesday also provides an additional five years for prosecution from the time a potential suspect is identified through DNA testing.

The legislation comes as the Attorney General’s Office continues to plow through a backlog of untested rape kits, with numerous cases of DNA matches in a criminal database.

The Ohio House approved a similar bill last month.

Opponents have told lawmakers they believe the bill is unconstitutional because it creates two classes of offenders – those whose cases involve DNA evidence, and those whose cases don’t.