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Attorney For People Charged With Ohio Sex Crimes

Facing charges for sex offenses in Ohio means much more than possible time in jail. Just having the accusation on your record can destroy your reputation and your working career. A conviction — including accepting a plea agreement with the prosecutor — may mean you face years on the Ohio sex offender registry.

If you are under investigation or have already been charged with a sex crime, call the Youngstown Criminal Law Group right away.

Categories Of Sex Offenses In Ohio

The state of Ohio classifies felony and misdemeanor sexual offenses into five categories namely; first, second, third, fourth and fifth/minor. The first-degree felonies are the most serious offenses and carry the harshest penalties while the fifth/minor degree offenses are the least serious and bear lesser harsh penalties.

The sex crimes are listed under Chapter 2907 of the Ohio Revised Code. Individuals who are found guilty of sexual offenses often face stern penalties that may not only include harsh fines and lengthy terms of incarceration, but also possible requirements for the convict to register as a sex offender in the Ohio sex offender registry. This can be for several years, or in worse case for life.

Misdemeanor Sex Offenses And Penalties

Sexual Imposition

Sexual imposition typically occurs when someone has some kind of sexual contact with another allegedly against their will. In many cases, this happens when the victim is impaired from drugs, alcohol or some form of mental impairment.

According to the Ohio Revised Code, sexual imposition can be classified into 2 categories namely; first-degree and third-degree misdemeanor. According to the first-degree misdemeanor, no person is allowed to have sexual contact with another when a sex offender has previously been convicted of rape, sexual battery, unlawful sexual conduct with an under-age, or gross sexual imposition. The penalty for such an offense is a jail-term of not more than six months and/or fines up to $1,000.

On the other hand, according to a third-degree misdemeanor;

  • No one is allowed to have sexual contact with another when the offender is a mental health professional, the victim, or when one of the individuals is a mental health patient or client of the offender
  • No one is allowed to have sexual contact with another when the victim is 13 to 16 years of age and the offender is at least 18 years, and/or four more years older than the other person
  • No one is allowed to have sexual contact with another when the offender knows well that the victim submitted because he or she was unaware of the sexual contact
  • No one is allowed to have sexual contact with another when the offender knows that the victim's ability to agree, control or resist the offender's conduct is substantially impaired
  • No one is allowed to have sexual contact with another when the offender well knows that the sexual contact is offensive to the victim

Third-degree sex offense misdemeanor is subject to a jail term of up to 60 days in prison and/or fines of up to $500.

Felony Sex Crimes And Penalties

1. Rape, Aggravated Sexual Assault

A conviction of rape in Ohio can land the offender to very harsh punishments, including possible life imprisonment, long prison sentences, permanent criminal record and possible requirements to register as a sex offender for life. Under the Ohio Revised Code 2907.02, Rape is defined as when someone has allegedly engaged in sexual contact with another individual by making them submit through the threat of using force or by actual use of force.

A person may be charged with rape if;

  • The offender allegedly impaired the victim's judgment or control with substances such as drugs, controlled substances, or some other intoxicant by use of force or deception in order to prevent resistance from the victim.
  • The victim is under 13 years old
  • They knew or had reasonable cause to believe that the victim was impaired by a mental or physical condition, or even old age, and therefore they had no ability to resist the offender's actions.

Rape is a first-degree felony in Ohio and is punishable by a prison sentence of three to 10 years and/or fines up to $20,000. However, if the victim was underage, the crime is punishable by life imprisonment or life in prison with no parole.

2. Sexual Battery

Under the Ohio Revised Code 2907.03, crimes related to sexual battery are classified under the second- and third-degree felony category. When charged with this crime, the offender must have allegedly had sexual contact with the victim and at least meet the following aspects:

  • If the victim is under age 13
  • Knew the other person's ability to control themselves was substantially impaired
  • Coerced the other person to submit to the sexual contact without resistance
  • Knew that the other individual engaged in the sexual contact merely because they did not know the act was being committed
  • Knew that the victim only agreed to the sexual contact because they mistook the alleged offender for their spouse
  • Is the victim's guardian, parent or stepparent
  • Had legal custody over the other person
  • Had some form of disciplinary or supervisory authority over a patient
  • The alleged offender is a teacher, coach or administrator in a facility where the other person attends
  • The alleged offender was a mental health professional who lied to their client into believing that the sexual contact was important for their treatment

If the alleged victim is below 13 years old, a conviction for sexual battery is a second-degree felony and is punishable by two to five years in jail and/or fines of up to $15,000. If the victim is above that age, the felony is punishable by one to five years in jail and/or fines of up to $10,000.

3. Unlawful Sexual Conduct With A Minor

According to the Ohio Revised Code 2907.04, a person who is 18 years or older can be charged with this offense if they knowingly or irresponsibly participated in sexual conduct with a minor who is between 13 and 16 years of age.

This offense is punishable as a felony of fourth degree, felony of third degree, felony of second degree or as a misdemeanor of first degree depending on certain factors. As a fourth-degree felony, the crime is punishable by a six to 18 months jail term and/or fines not exceeding $5, 000. The crime is a misdemeanor of first degree if the alleged offender is 4 years older than the victim and the crime can incur up to six months in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000.

If the alleged offender is 10 or more years older than the alleged victim, the crime is a third-degree felony and can lead to a prison sentence of one to five years and/or fines of up to $10,000. Also, if the alleged offender has previously been convicted of another sexual offense, this crime is punishable as a second-degree felony and bears a possible prison sentence of two to eight years and/or fines not exceeding $15,000.

The Ohio Sex Offender Registry

The Sexual Offender Registration Bill in Ohio was signed in 1997 by the governor of the state. The bill required that sheriff's offices throughout the state develop and implement a registration system for tracking convicted sexual offenders.

The CCSD is charged with the responsibility of registering all sexual offenders, keeping a database of the same, and forwarding the data to the Ohio attorney general's office. At times, the judge rules that some sex offenders be subject to community notification. In such cases, deputies must give personal notice to schools, neighbors and municipal law enforcement agencies about the offender's location.

The Ohio sex offender's registry helps notify neighbors, employers and other interested parties about a convicted sex offender's behavior. You can search on the attorney general's list of published offenders with a specified radius of your home, school or business.

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