COLUMBUS (WCMH) — After a judge dismissed the cases of hundreds of former students against the Ohio State University tied to sexual abuse, legislatures are calling for changes to the law.
“We feel that there should be no expiration date, whatsoever, on when a victim can bring their abuser to justice,” Rep. Jessica Miranda, (D) Forest Park.
The plaintiffs said they suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Dr. Richard Strauss while students at the university, claiming the university turned a blind eye to the abuse.
On Wednesday, Judge Michael H. Watson announced the dismissal on the grounds that the two-year statute of limitations expired. In his ruling, the judge wrote “At all times since the filing of these cases, the Ohio legislature had the power, but not the will, to change the statute of limitations for these Plaintiffs.”
This week Governor Mike DeWine voiced his support for doing away with the statute of limitations in these cases.
“Many times, it is very difficult for that victim to come forward, a lot of different things are going on, it has to reach some point in their life when they’re able to do this,” said Governor DeWine, (R) Ohio. “It’s such a heinous crime, the victims are so impacted, my belief is there should be no statute of limitations.”
The issue has been brought up before at the Ohio Statehouse. Earlier this year, Rep. Tavia Galonski and Rep. Jessica Miranda introduced House Bill 266, the legislation that would eliminate the statute of limitations for criminal and civil sex crimes, among other things.
“This is the moment where the state legislature can step up and do something about this for victims of abuse because there should be no proper time or expiration date when victims of abuse can seek the justice that they deserve,” said Rep. Miranda.
Plaintiffs in the Ohio State case are expected to appeal the judge’s decision.