Lawmaker introduces new legislation to lift statute of limitations in rape cases


Gloria Allred speaking at statehouse

In hopes of better protecting victims of sex crimes, an Ohio lawmaker introduced new legislation to lift the statute of limitations in rape cases.

The introduction of it at the Ohio Statehouse Wednesday included an emotional voice: Michael Disabato, the whistleblower of the OSU Doctor Richard Strauss case spoke publicly about the first time he says he was sexually assaulted by Dr. Strauss.

"I was assaulted by Dr. Strauss for the first time as a 14-year-old at Bishop Ready High School on the west side, " said Disabato.

He says what started in High School continued at OSU, more than 25 years ago. That's more than the allotted time by Ohio law to hold someone accountable. High profile victims' rights attorney, Gloria Allred says that's wrong. She was contacted by several of the men who alleged that they were were victims of sexual misconduct and abuse by Dr. Strauss.

"Time limits only benefit the sexual predator, " Allred said at a press conference. "It hurts the victims of abuse."

The bill being introduced by State Senator Joe Schiavoni lifts the statute of limitations in both the criminal and civil justice systems for victims of rape or sexual abuse. Allred says Ohio's law, right now, doesn't help the victims who often times find it hard to come forward until years later.

"Victims are often concerned that they won't be believed if they tell or be blamed or shamed, " Allred said.

Despite what lawmakers decide on the bill. Allred believes Ohio State University should do the right thing and compensate those who Dr. Strauss allegedly hurt.

"Even though they may not be legally required to do it, they can do it and should do it," Allred said. "The only question is, will they do it and if so, when?"

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