Portion of Reagan Tokes Act signed into law

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COLUMBUS – More than a year after the parents of Reagan Tokes introduced legislation aimed at preventing another tragedy like their daughter’s from occurring, a portion of the Reagan Tokes Act has been signed into law.

It cleared the Ohio House and Senate earlier this month.

The Senate Bill 201 is named after Reagan Tokes, the Ohio State student who was kidnapped, raped and murdered in February of 2017 by Brian Golsby, a convicted sex offender who had been released from prison just three months before Tokes’ death.

It allows a judge to sentence a violent offender to a range of years in prison rather than a set term. So, if the person misbehaved while in prison - as Brian Golsby, Reagan Tokes’ killer, did prior to his release - that person would spend a longer amount of time behind bars. Conversely, if the prisoner behaves well, he or she could be released early.

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The bill covers only a portion of the Reagan Tokes Act and leaves out key provisions that the Tokes Family and key bill sponsors hoped would be in the bill.

For example, the bill leaves out provisions that would have required the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to reduce parole officer workloads and other provision that would have required the department to expand a statewide GPS program to monitor offenders.

Toby Tokes, Reagan’s father, spoke to 10 Investigates about what the bill means to him.

“Lisa and I took up this out of just a desire to make Reagan’s life matter as best as we possibly could. We know what she meant to us. We know what happened to her was avoidable and should have never happened. So we took it upon ourselves to try to make a difference. What it means to me is Ohio is going to be safer because of Reagan,” Toby Tokes told 10 Investigates during an interview Thursday.

While the bill that passed would change how people like Golsby are sentenced, it would also call on the department of corrections to write a feasibility study on ways to improve GPS monitoring and reduce the number of prisoners who are released homeless.

Critics have said it will not make Ohio safer. Rep. Kristin Boggs, one of the legislation’s sponsors disagrees.

“I think it will make Ohio safer. I’ve been in office for three years and have had two women killed in my district by people ...who weren’t monitored closely... we know we can do better than that. This bill will give us to the tools to do better than that,” she said.