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Ohio Senate votes to extend time of prosecution on rape cases amid ongoing DNA testing

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Senate has approved a proposal to extend the 20-year time period for prosecuting rape and sexual battery.

The bill provides an additional five years for prosecution from the time a potential suspect is identified through DNA testing.

PHOTO: Amy Borror, left, lobbyist for the Ohio Public Defender's Office, explains her position that a bill extending the statute of limitations in rape cases based on DNA matches is unconstitutional as John Murphy, executive director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association observes, on Tuesday, March 24, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Borror said proposed legislation unconstitutionally creates two classes of rape defendants--those whose cases involve DNA, and those whose cases don't. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)
Amy Borror, left, lobbyist for the Ohio Public Defender's Office, explains her position that a bill extending the statute of limitations in rape cases based on DNA matches is unconstitutional as John Murphy, executive director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association observes, on Tuesday, March 24, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Borror said proposed legislation unconstitutionally creates two classes of rape defendants--those whose cases involve DNA, and those whose cases don't. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)

The legislation comes as the Attorney General's Office continues to plow through a backlog of untested rape kits, with numerous cases of DNA matches in a criminal database.

The GOP-controlled Senate voted 32-1 in favor of the bill Wednesday.

The House Judiciary Committee put off a vote on similar legislation Tuesday as opponents told lawmakers they believe the bill is unconstitutional because it creates two classes of offenders, those whose cases involve DNA evidence, and those whose cases don't.

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