- Missing Jackson woman found dead in Bollinger County pond (06/23/16)4
- Many Jackson students may face random drug-testing (06/26/16)30
- Village of Zalma must disincorporate, law says (06/23/16)5
- Jackson man accused of felony assault after attack at Cape bar (06/26/16)7
- Coroner asks for grand jury in Poplar Bluff fatal hit-and-run case (06/28/16)1
- Four men accused of roles in three robberies (06/29/16)3
- Witness says he saw suspect kill his best friend (06/24/16)
- Officials: Ash borer less of a problem here than in St. Louis (06/27/16)
- Cape detective who helped solve Krajcir case is retiring (06/28/16)8
- Police: Cape man kidnapped woman, then raped, assaulted her (06/30/16)7
Action needed on limits on rape charges
Missouri lawmakers are on target to spell out the provisions for charging someone with rape under Missouri law.
A 2000 ruling from the Missouri Court of Appeals' Western District indicates that someone must be charged within three years after the crime is committed.
As a result, perpetrators who aren't caught and charged during the 36 months after a rape will avoid prison time. Some prosecutors have been gathering DNA evidence and charging a John Doe so they can pursue cases once a match is made. This sometimes happens when suspects are picked up for other crimes.
The Missouri Legislature wants to make it clear that there is no statute of limitations on rape in this state. The crime should be just as punishable in five, 10, 20 or more years as the day it is committed.
Lawmakers would be wise to put such a provision on a crime that strips victims, at least temporarily, of their dignity and right to feel safe.