Bill Allows Judges to Sentence Prison Time, Restraining Order in Single Ruling
When a person is found guilty of violent charges such as rape or kidnapping, a judge can sentence that criminal to prison but can’t stop them from trying to contact the victim at the same time. A lawmaker wants to close that so-called loophole.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled last year that a separate court proceeding must take place if a victim wants to get a restraining order against the person sent to jail for that crime.
Ohio Democratic Rep. Greta Johnson of Akron says her bill would change that.
“To tell a judge you can sentence someone to a term of decades in prison but you are not able to tell this person who’s commited these terrible crimes that they can’t have contact with the person who is the victim of them that just doesn’t seem to make good sense,” said Johnson.
Johnson, a former prosecutor, says she’s seen hundreds of these cases. She fears many criminals might come out to challenge their previous sentences, causing a dilemma for victims.