Some Ohio lawmakers are calling for major changes in state laws in order to better protect the rights of those who have been victims of rape or sexual battery.
Currently, spousal rape and spousal sexual battery are not illegal in Ohio.
One lawmaker is working to change that by introducing legislation on Monday.
State representative Greta Johnson, (D-Akron) wants a law passed here in Ohio that would allow victims to prosecute his or her own spouse if they are victims of sexual assault.
Representative Johnson wants to eliminate the statute of limitations on all rape cases.
Currently the law sets a limit of 20 years. However, some pending legislation could change that limit to 25.
In addition to that a five-year extension to cases where DNA evidence taken from the crime scene or rape kit matches a profile that is already in the system.
Johnson said it is eyebrow raising that it is currently not illegal to sexually assault a spouse.
“As a prosecutor I kept thinking ‘well what if these people were married, would it change what really happened that night?’ The answer was always ‘no’ and so I always felt that this was a real problem in the criminal code that really can’t be ignored, ” said Johnson.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one in three women experience rape or other physical violence at the hand of an intimate partner in their lifetime.