Dem lawmakers urge action on justice reform for survivors of sexual violence and abuse

Say GOP continues to stall bills despite broad public support 

COLUMBUS— Reps. Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus), Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington), Jessica Miranda (D-ForestPark) and Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) today called for immediate action on legislation that would reform Ohio’s criminal justice system and expand opportunities for survivors of sexual violence and abuse to seek the justice they deserve. 

The lawmakers called for Republican committee chairs to hold public hearings on HB 266, which would eliminate the criminal statute of limitations for rape, extend the period for civil action by a victim of sexual abuse, and eliminate the spousal exception for rape, as well as HB 199, which would remove the cap on damages for certain violent crimes, including rape. 

Both HB 199 and HB 266 have stalled in the Republican-dominated House Civil and Criminal Justice Committees, respectively, since being introduced earlier this year. No additional hearings have been set. 

The entirety of Thursday’s press conference can be found here. 

Here’s what Democrats said about the legislation: 

“Survivors of the most gruesome crimes should not have to fight the legislature to hold these predators and those who permit their abuse accountable for the harm that they cause. The legislature’s inaction and refusal to pass these bills serves only to protect these violent perpetrators,” said Assistant Minority Leader Rep. Kristin Boggs. 

“Ohio’s justice system currently favors organizations and individuals who turn a blind-eye to rapists and sexual predators, not the actual survivors of these horrific acts. It is outrageous that any Ohio lawmaker is okay with not only preserving this injustice, but protecting those who either committed or have been complicit in such heinous acts,” said Rep. Allison Russo. 

“For too long in Ohio, survivors of sexual abuse and violence have not had the opportunity to seek the justice they rightfully deserve. We stand with survivors and want to have real, meaningful conversations that lead us on a path toward opportunities for justice,” said Rep. Jessica Miranda. 

“At the end of the day, no matter who you are, where you live, or when your sexual assault happened, every survivor should hold the right to come forward when they are ready to do so. Justice for survivors of sexual violence should have no expiration date,” said Rep. Tavia Galonski.

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