Alleged sexual abuse survivors want to eliminate statute of limitations

Local News

Accusers of an Ohio State University doctor are pushing the legislature to make changes to the statute of limitations laws.

The time limit to bring a case against someone accused of sexual misconduct, other than rape, is two years here in Ohio and some victims say that‘s not right.

Brian Garrett worked for Dr. Richard Strauss in 1996 when he said he was alleged sexually abused by Dr. Strauss.

Garrett said he was broke and needed the job to go to graduate school.

“They say that 80-90 percent of victims don’t report these incidents when they occur,” said Garrett. “I was one of those people.”

Garrett claims he witnessed Strauss abuse a patient and then later that day accused the doctor of doing the same to him.

He said at the time he didn’t tell anyone what happened but did quit working at the clinic.

“(Back then) as a guy you’re just supposed to suck it up, things like that, and so I did what society expected of us back then, was bottle it up and not talk about it,” Garrett said.

The trauma ended up being far worse than Garrett ever thought it would be. After he started to see Strauss’ picture and hear the accusations of the other alleged victims that bottled up trauma became uncorked.

“I’ve had times when I’ve woken up in the middle of the night where I see him standing over me and you’re paralyzed. You can’t do anything about it,” Garrett said.

Garrett can’t get justice for what allegedly happened to him back in 1996 because the statute of limitations has expired. So, came to the statehouse to prevent that from happening to other victims.

“The lawmakers, whether they are Democrat or Republican, are good people and I’ll know they’ll do the right thing and the right thing is to open the statute of limitations on this,” Garrett said.

If lawmakers do not open up the statute of limitations on these kinds of crimes they would be complicit in his mind, Garrett said.

Several lawmakers like state Sen. Joe Schiavoni have plans to attempt to bring legislation forward this fall.

“For murder, there is no statute of limitations and there shouldn’t be for these kinds of cases either,” Schiavoni said.

Lawmakers from both parties have been working toward extending or eliminating the statute of limitations on rape for years.

Currently, the Democrats have a bill in the House that would do just that.

Schiavoni plans to introduce another in the Senate as well this fall in hopes of getting something passed in lame duck.

Garrett said he wants to shake the hand of any lawmaker that is able to get something done on this issue, because it would mean a lot to him and other victims who have found themselves on the outside of justice looking in.

This change could give so many victims peace and closure when they are mentally and emotionally ready to face the trauma of what happened to them, he said.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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