BY: SUSAN TEBBEN and Ohio Capital Journal

Days after lawsuits against a former OSU team doctor were dismissed because of the statute of limitations, Democratic state representatives want action to extend time and help to sexual assault survivors.

A federal judge didn’t dispute the facts of the case in which Dr. Richard Strauss was accused of sexually assaulting hundreds of student athletes, but said too much time had passed to continue the lawsuits.

State Reps. Kristin Boggs, D-Columbus, and Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, say the Strauss case is a major example of why sexual assault laws in the case need to change.

“Trauma — especially the kind of trauma experienced by those Strauss abuse—doesn’t have a statute of limitations,” Russo said in a statement. “Therefore, I fail to see why our legal system should have a statute of limitations or damages cap for such horrific acts.”

Boggs and Russo are calling on the House to bring up legislation that has stalled after being introduced last April.

House Bill 199 would create an exception to the legal deadline for filing lawsuits if the case involves instances of rape, felonious assault, aggravated assault, assault, or negligent assault.

The bill is a reintroduction of a bill Boggs introduced in the last General Assembly, which failed with lack of support from the Republican majority. The current bill still only has Democratic support, making passage difficult in the sustained GOP supermajority.

SUSAN TEBBEN is an award-winning journalist with a decade of experience covering Ohio news, including courts and crime, Appalachian social issues, government, education, diversity and culture. She has worked for The Newark Advocate, The Glasgow Daily Times, The Athens Messenger, and WOUB Public Media. She has also had work featured on National Public Radio.

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