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State plans to appeal dismissal of cold case rape charges

August 2, 2018

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The state of Montana plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Montana Supreme Court’s dismissal of charges for the 1987 rape of an 8-year-old Billings girl.

Montana’s Supreme Court ruled last month that the statute of limitations in effect at the time of the crime had expired long before a DNA match made in 2014 linked Donald Dwight Tipton to the case.

The Billings Gazette reports Attorney General Tim Fox has until Oct. 3 to ask the court for a review.

The state argues a 2007 law that allows people to be charged with crimes within a year of a DNA match was meant to apply retroactively to solve cold cases.

Another man was convicted and spent 15 years in prison before being exonerated by the DNA evidence.

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Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com

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