HUBER HEIGHTS —Ohio Attorney General Mike De Wine spoke at the Huber Heights Rotary Club on Monday. De Wine’s top priority in his position is protecting Ohio families. In order to protect children, he created a special Crimes Against Children unit to help identify, arrest and convict sexual predators. He has also made commitments to support anti-gun violence programs.
De Wine served as Greene County Prosecuting Attorney, in the Ohio State Senate, in the U.S. House of Representatives, as Ohio Lt. Governor and in the U.S. Senate.
De Wine said his job is a “fascinating job” and said, first of all, he is the lawyer for the state of Ohio.
“Any time the state gets sued, we’re there,” he said.
He also said his office is a lawyer for every state university, four years and two years.
“You can just imagine how much legal work Ohio State University has or Wright State has,” he said. “So, it takes a lot of our time, as well.”
His department also runs the state Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), located in London, Richfield and Bowling Green.
“About 90 percent of the police departments in this state take their evidence to us,” he said.
De Wine said they have the ability to test DNA. He gave the example of a case in which a woman was assaulted by a man who had his hands on her face, meaning she couldn’t see her attacker. The Crime Lab was able to obtain the man’s DNA off of her eye lid in order to obtain his identity.
“Every day we solve crimes because of DNA,” said De Wine.
De Wine also said his office prosecutes health care fraud.
He then talked about a variety of scams, including charity scams. He said one of the most popular scams is one in which a grandparent receives a call from someone who pretends to be their granddaughter who might say she’s in Ft. Lauderdale and needs money and asks the grandparents to wire her money. He also talked about a scam call that indicates you are the winner of the Power-ball Lottery and they ask you to send them $2,500.
De Wine then talked about the importance for an office holder in executive office, is to create the “right culture” in an organization.
De Wine said that when he become the Ohio AG, the wait time for a police department that brought in evidence to the Crime Lab was 125 days before they were looked at.
“We knew we had to change that,” he said.
“Today, if a rape occurs, despite the fact now that we have four times as much DNA coming into our office when I became Attorney General…, our average wait time today is 22 days.”
De Wine established his Sexual Assault Kit Testing Initiative in 2011 after learning some law departments had rape kits, some which were decades old that had never been sent for testing. As of July 1, 186 law enforcement agencies have submitted 10,134 kits to be tested. Forensic scientists have tested 7,814 of those hits, resulting in 2,887 hits in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).
De Wine said he hired 10 new people to work on these old rape cases because he didn’t want to hinder the processing of new rape cases.
“It’s been a very, very successful program,” he said.
Greg Smart may be reached at 937-236-4990, ext. 2542 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com.