Ohio governor calls to eliminate statute of limitations for sex crimes after OSU doctor abuse report

Ohio governor calls to eliminate statute of limitations for sex crimes after OSU doctor abuse report
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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) on Monday called for the abolition of the state’s statute of limitations on rape in the wake of revelations about former Ohio State University doctor Richard Strauss, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Strauss, who killed himself in 2005, sexually abused nearly 200 men while they were students at the university, according to a report released by the university on Friday. If he were alive, the statute of limitations on his alleged crimes would have run out by 2019, according to DeWine. Prosecutors have a 25-year window to charge defendants for rape in Ohio, while civil suits have a two-year window. Strauss’ alleged crimes date back as early as 1979, according to the report.

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"If this man was still alive and could not be prosecuted, I think people would be furious," DeWine, who served as the state attorney general from 2011 to 2019, said in a Monday news conference, according to the Enquirer.

Democratic state lawmakers have introduced legislation to remove the statute of limitations but failed to advance in the Republican-controlled General Assembly, according to the Enquirer, but DeWine said he hoped Strauss’ case would prompt a re-evaluation of the law.

The report found that numerous Ohio State personnel were aware of allegations against Strauss and took no action. Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanMeadows to be replaced by Biggs as Freedom Caucus leader House Republicans want details on Democrats' trips to Mexico GOP lawmakers, states back gunmaker in Sandy Hook appeal MORE (R-Ohio), who some of Strauss’ victims have accused of ignoring their reports, is not mentioned in the report.

“On behalf of the university, we offer our profound regret and sincere apologies to each person who endured Strauss’s abuse,” Ohio State President Michael Drake said in a statement Friday. “Our institution’s fundamental failure at the time to prevent this abuse was unacceptable — as were the inadequate efforts to thoroughly investigate complaints raised by students and staff members.”