High court weighs delay in charging man in woman’s attack


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A man arrested 26 years after an attack on a woman left for dead says the state took too long to charge him and his conviction should be thrown out in a case that’s before the Ohio Supreme Court Thursday.

Ralph Bortree was arrested in 2019 and charged with attempted aggravated murder in the 1993 killing of a 19-year-old woman, who was abducted, raped and left for dead.

Authorities arrested Bortree using genetic technology that traced DNA found at the scene.

The statute of limitations for rape and kidnapping expired after six years. But prosecutors said Ohio law still allowed Bortree to be charged with attempted aggravated murder. Bortree was convicted and sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Attorneys for Bortree argued state law doesn’t define a limit for attempted aggravated murder and therefore the statute of limitations on that charge had also expired.