BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Montana man charged with raping an 8-year-old Billings girl in 1987 will stand trial after a judge denied the defense's motion to dismiss the charges.

The Friday ruling was in response to the motion that argued the statute of limitations for the rape charge expired before a 2007 law on DNA evidence was passed.

The Billings Gazette reports that Judge Mary Jane Knisely says the state law was intended to be applied retroactively so cold cases could be prosecuted.

Ronald Dwight Tipton was charged with three counts of sexual intercourse without consent in 2015 after DNA testing linked him to the case in 2014. He has pleaded not guilty.

Another man was convicted of the rape and spent 15 years in prison before DNA evidence exonerated him in 2002.

___

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