- Few Southeast students face suspension, expulsion for sexual assaults, campus paper finds (4/25/17)5
- Perryville family organizing bone-marrow drive Friday for ailing 6-year-old boy (4/26/17)
- Woman battered after smashing boyfriend's meth pipe against wall, police say (4/25/17)1
- Pilot House goes smoke-free (4/23/17)10
- Temptations bassist dies after Cape Girardeau show (4/26/17)2
- Event includes the first public tour of 200-year-old Elmwood Manor (4/23/17)3
- BBB warns Jackson man's online business might not be legit (4/24/17)
- Cape couple turns their home into cozy, comfortable music venue (4/24/17)
- State Supreme Court rules against congressman's mother in dog-kennel defamation case (4/27/17)1
- Sikeston man charged in shooting death of Cape man (4/23/17)
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.