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Does Ohio Have a Statute of Limitations on Sexual Assault?


A statute of limitations is a law that dictates the maximum amount of time in which a person (or persons) involved in an event or dispute have to initiate legal proceedings. Most often, the “clock” begins from the date of the alleged offense.

The goal of implementing a law like this is to ensure that convictions are based on evidence that has not deteriorated over time — after a few decades, physical evidence can be lost or in poor shape, and eyewitnesses can have passed away or changed their version of events. The statute of limitations laws apply to some crimes, but not all. Ohio does not have a statute of limitations for murder or aggravated murder. In Ohio, the statute of limitations for most misdemeanor crimes is two years.

Ohio Sexual Assault Laws

The statute of limitations varies for many different sex crimes and circumstances.

Childhood Sexual Assault

According to the Ohio civil statute of limitations, victims of childhood sexual abuse must come forward before turning 30. If a person wishes to pursue a criminal case, the criminal statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse is capped at age 43. However, another five years will be granted if DNA evidence is found within 25 years of the alleged incident.

Rape and Sexual Battery as an Adult

Civil statutes of limitations for rape and sexual battery range between one and two years from the date of the alleged incident.

The criminal statute of limitations on rape and sexual battery is “25 years after commission, conspiracy, complicity, or attempt to commit the offense.”

Are You Under Investigation for Sexual Assault?

If you’re facing sexual assault charges, you need a dedicated team behind you, working hard to get a favorable outcome. The Meranda Law Firm LTD has more than 15 years of legal experience and has represented clients facing a wide range of sex crime accusations. Unlike other firms, which provide a one-size-fits-all approach, we’ll examine every aspect of your case, including laws regarding the Ohio statute of limitations, and provide focused representation.

For a free consultation on your sexual assault case, contact our Columbus sex crime lawyers today, 614.707.4239. An Ohio sexual assault lawyer at The Meranda Law Firm LTD can help you fight false allegations against you.