COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State senators in Ohio are debating a proposal to lift the statute of limitations on rape.

It would also close a loophole that allows rape inside marriage to go unpunished.

During Senate hearings that began Wednesday, Democratic co-sponsor Sen. Nickie Antonio, of Lakewood, said Ohio’s current rape laws don’t account for increasingly sophisticated DNA testing or the research that shows sex crime victims need time to come forward.

Democratic Sen. Sean O’Brien, of Trumbull County’s Bazetta Township, is another co-sponsor. He testified that perpetrators shouldn’t be able to hide behind an artificial time constraint.

The bill would align Ohio with seven other states, including neighboring Kentucky and West Virginia, that have eliminated a time window for prosecuting sex crimes. It wouldn’t apply to crimes already beyond the statute of limitations.

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