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Ohio's Statute of Limitations on Sexual Assault
COLUMBUS -- A Central Ohio woman still hopes police will find her rapist. But even if they did, they wouldn't be able to prosecute the crime.
After Dana Beatty returned home one night, she unlocked the door and spent the next five and a half hours in terror.
"I thought he was going to kill me," Beatty recalls.
The brutal crime, which made headlines more than two decades ago, remains unsolved. "To this day it terrifies me to know that this individual is still out there."
Today, if the culprit who tied and blindfolded Dana Beatty was caught, the news would read that he would go free. Prosecutors can no longer press charges.
"That is why it's so important that there should be no time limit on the statute when somebody goes through a horrible crime like this, because it does have a life-long effect."
Senators Capri Cafaro and Nina Turner are pushing a bill to remove Ohio's statute of limitations on prosecuting rape and sexual assault.
The Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association supports the measure only for cases where there is DNA evidence.
A rape kit could one day solve Beatty's case.
When asked what this would mean to Beatty, she replied, "when you asked me that question I just got chills and a lot of emotions just came up from that, because it would be very meaningful."
Beatty and her family hope that by telling her story they can help make a meaningful change in the law.
Currently, Ohio's statute of limitations on prosecuting a case of rape or sexual battery is 20 years.
Some opponents are against the new proposal because they say it's difficult to rely on witness testimony after so many years.
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