AKRON, Ohio — A 70-year-old Akron man has been arrested and charged following allegations that he repeatedly raped a woman when she was a child beginning the late 1980s.
Edward R. Plotz has been charged with six counts of rape, according to the Summit County Sheriff's Office.
Authorities opened an investigation into the matter in May when the victim, who is now in her 30s, came forward.
Summit County Inspector Bill Holland said the abuse started in 1989 when the girl was 8-years-old and it continued until 1995. Holland said in this case the the statute of limitations to bring charges was 20 years, a deadline that was barely met.
"The 20-year statute of limitations wouldn't start until the victim became 18-years-old so he's being charged with all of the incidences that were reported, Holland said.
News 5 contacted Plotz by phone Wednesday afternoon. When asked about the charges against him, he said, "I'm not talking about it."
His attorney, Mike Callahan, said Plotz maintains his innocence.
Currently, the statute of limitations for rape in Ohio is 25 years, meaning that prosecutors cannot charge a rape suspect 25 years after the incident allegedly occurred, even if DNA evidence leads to a suspect.
State Rep. Tavia Galonski has introduced House Bill 279 which would get rid of the statute of limitations for rape. Governor Mike DeWine also supports eliminating the statute of limitations. Galonski is hoping for hearing on the bill in early 2020.
Terri Heckman, the CEO of the Rape Crisis of Summit and Medina Counties, called Ohio's law arbitrary.
"I think you should have the right, if you want to, to prosecute throughout your life, not dependent on a clock ticking," Heckman said.
The sheriff's office said it is working to determine if Plotz assaulted any other individuals.
Authorities are asking anyone who may have been assaulted by Plotz to contact the sheriff's office at 330-643-2131.