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Charge: Unlawful Sexual Contact with a Minor

Youngstown Criminal Law Group is dedicated to providing legal defense for individuals facing sexual offense charges in the Lisbon metropolitan area, Columbiana County, and surrounding areas. As one of Ohio’s top criminal defense firms, we have earned numerous honors and accolades.

With over 20,000 clients who have entrusted their legal matters to us, Youngstown Criminal Law Group is recognized for our exceptional work. We are proud recipients of the “Top Lawyer” designation awarded by Columbus CEO Magazine.

Sex offense charges in Ohio carry severe penalties that can have a life-altering impact. We understand the importance of strong criminal defense representation, and that is precisely what our experienced Lisbon sex crimes attorneys offer.

At Youngstown Criminal Law Group, we are driven to advocate for our clients, treating them like our own family. Our track record includes reducing charges and achieving case dismissals. When you entrust your criminal defense case to us, rest assured that it will be handled with utmost care and expertise.

Youngstown Criminal Law Group – Lisbon Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor Defense Attorney

At Youngstown Criminal Law Group, we firmly believe in the principle of innocence until proven guilty and ensuring that every defendant gets their rightful day in court. If you choose to hire our services, we will staunchly advocate for your rights and provide unwavering support.

Statutory rape, an antiquated legal term often referred to as “technical rape,” encompasses cases where an adult engages in sexual activities with a minor who cannot legally provide consent. Such acts are considered nonconsensual by default and are classified as rape.

In Lisbon, individuals under the age of 16 are legally unable to give consent for sexual activities. However, it is crucial to differentiate between statutory rape and rape in Ohio. If the sexual encounter was only “technically” non consensual and the victim was not a child (under the age of 13) and provided consent, the crimes are categorized differently.

If you are facing statutory rape charges in Columbiana County, Ohio, it is essential to have a compassionate and experienced Lisbon prostitution attorney who specializes in handling delicate cases involving juvenile sex crimes. At Youngstown Criminal Law Group, we are proud to offer professional and dedicated service to our clients. With a wealth of experience handling over 20,000 criminal cases, including those involving sex-related charges, we possess the necessary expertise to navigate this complex legal landscape.

In Lisbon, the crime of statutory rape is legally termed “unlawful sexual conduct with a minor” under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04. By utilizing the term “unlawful sexual conduct” instead of “rape,” Ohio seeks to differentiate between nonconsensual sexual encounters and consensual yet unlawful sexual activities.

If you are currently facing charges of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in Lisbon or the surrounding vicinity, a conviction could lead to severe consequences, including imprisonment, a criminal record, and potential fines. Additionally, you may be required to register as a sex offender, potentially impacting various aspects of your daily life.

However, remember that you still have legal options. The Youngstown Criminal Law Group is here to assist you by meticulously evaluating the details of your case and guiding you towards the next steps. Our Lisbon sex crimes lawyers specializing in unlawful sexual conduct cases will represent you, safeguard your legal rights, and vigorously combat the allegations on your behalf.

We understand the immense stress you are facing, and as your legal advocates, we are committed to relieving you of this burden. The legal representation you choose can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Contact the Youngstown Criminal Law Group now at 330-992-3036 for a free and confidential consultation. Allow us to review the charges you are facing concerning alleged sex crimes in Lisbon Columbiana County, Ohio, and provide you with tailored guidance fitting your specific circumstances.

Lisbon Defense Attorney: An Insight into Statutory Rape

When discussing the term “statutory rape,” it commonly refers to the offense of “unlawful sexual conduct with a minor” as stated in Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04. However, it is crucial to note that this statute does not encompass all forms of sexual conduct referred to as “statutory rape.” It specifically criminalizes a situation where an individual over the age of 18 engages in sexual activity with someone they are not married to, and who they should reasonably know is between the ages of 13 to 15.

In Ohio, engaging in sexual activity with a minor under the age of 13 is classified as rape according to Ohio Revised Code § 2907.02, distinct from statutory rape, and treated as a strict liability offense.

It is vital to understand that the offender’s knowledge of the child’s age is not a factor, the offender’s age does not influence the charges, and consent has no bearing on Ohio’s child rape charges. It is important to note that unlawful sexual conduct with a minor should not be mistaken as a lesser-included offense of child rape in Lisbon. As per Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04, it solely criminalizes sexual conduct between an individual over the age of 18 and a minor aged 13, 14, or 15.

It is essential to distinguish that any sexual conduct falling outside the purview of Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04 is not punishable as unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. However, such conduct may still be subject to other Ohio sex offenses outlined in Chapter 2907 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Understanding the Distinctions Between Statutory Rape, Rape, and Sexual Battery Charges in Lisbon

In the realm of sex crimes defined by the Ohio Revised Code § 2907, certain offenses tend to overlap. Acts classified as rape, sexual battery, statutory rape, and gross sexual imposition can all embody the same criminal act. To effectively defend against statutory rape charges in Ohio without unintentionally admitting to another sex offense, it is crucial to grasp the variances between these major sex crimes.

Among Ohio’s three primary sex crimes – rape, sexual battery, and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor – engaging in sexual activity with a minor constitutes one. If you find yourself facing charges of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in Lisbon, it means you, as an adult, stand accused of engaging in sexual relations with an individual between the ages of 13 and 16.

Distinguishing statutory rape charges under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04 from rape or sexual battery charges under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.02 and Ohio Revised Code § 2907.03 primarily centers around two key factors: actual consent and knowledge of the minor’s age.

Whenever an adult offender engages in sexual activity with an individual between the ages of 13 and 16, prosecutors have the authority to charge the offender with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, irrespective of consent. However, Ohio Revised § 2907.04 was specifically drafted to address situations where the victim desired to engage in sexual activity with the offender. When evidence suggests that a victim was forced, coerced, or pressured into participating in sexual conduct, this is typically classified as rape or sexual battery.

The presence of actual consent, although not legally recognized, is what leads to offenders being convicted of statutory rape only when they were aware or should have been aware of the victim’s underage status.

Prosecutors generally charge defendants with the highest-level sex offense that corresponds to the committed crime. Nonetheless, sexual offenders cannot be convicted of both the primary offense and a necessary lesser-included offense.

For instance, individuals accused under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.02 for raping a 15-year-old cannot be convicted of both rape and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. Nevertheless, prosecutors might offer defendants the opportunity to plead to lesser-included charges of statutory rape instead of pursuing a prosecution for rape or sexual battery.

By ensuring a clear understanding of the unique aspects separating these sex crimes, one can navigate the intricacies of the legal system more effectively.

Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor (Statutory Rape) in Lisbon: The Evidentiary Requirements

In the city of Lisbon, Columbiana County prosecutors face the daunting task of proving beyond a reasonable doubt each element of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. According to Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04, it is a punishable offense for individuals aged 18 or older to engage in sexual conduct with an individual aged 13 to 15 years old, or to recklessly disregard their age. Allow me to break down the crucial elements that prosecutors must establish to sustain charges under this statutory provision:

  • Age of the defendant: The accused person must have been 18 years of age or older at the time the alleged criminal conduct took place.
  • Sexual conduct: The interaction between the defendant and the victim must involve sexual conduct as defined by Ohio Revised Code § 2907.01. This encompasses vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
  • Spousal relationship: The individuals involved in the sexual conduct should not have been married to each other at the time of the offense, taking into account Ohio’s law that restricts marriage for individuals under the age of 17, while respecting legally recognized marriages from other jurisdictions.
  • Age of the victim: The victim must have been between the ages of 13 and 15 when the sexual encounter occurred.
  • Knowledge of the offender: Prior to engaging in sexual activity, the adult offender must have known or reasonably should have known that the victim was underage.

When it comes to Lisbon sex crimes charges, it’s vital to remember that innocence prevails until proven guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” During the trial, prosecutors bear the responsibility of presenting admissible evidence for each element of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

Dismissal of Lisbon statutory rape charges becomes a possibility if the prosecution fails to provide sufficient admissible evidence in support of the allegations. To establish unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in Columbiana County, Lisbon sex crimes investigators typically seek the following evidence:

  • Legal documents, such as birth certificates, licenses, passports, admissions, or expert medical testimony, to establish one’s age.
  • “Sexual conduct” evidence, which could include being caught in the act, admission to engaging in sexual activity, the presence of the defendant’s sperm on or within the victim, or the victim’s pregnancy.
  • Testimony or documentary evidence showing that the parties involved were unmarried.
  • Evidence demonstrating that the offender knew or should have known the age of the victim.

Proving the last element is especially challenging since it requires demonstrating a “subjective mindset.” It’s important to note that the Fifth Amendment in the United States Constitution safeguards criminal defendants from being compelled to provide self-incriminating testimony. Furthermore, the court is prohibited from using a defendant’s refusal to testify against them.

Understanding and Applying Ohio’s “Romeo & Juliet” Provision to Lisbon Statutory Rape Charges

In the realm of statutory rape charges, there exists a legal exception commonly referred to as the “Romeo & Juliet” provision. Originating from the tragic love story of Shakespeare’s Juliet, who was a mere 13 years old, and Romeo, who likely fell within the age range of 16 to 21, this provision serves as a safeguard in the majority of states. By understanding and applying Ohio’s variant of the “Romeo & Juliet” provision, one can navigate the intricacies of Lisbon’s statutory rape laws more effectively.

Ohio boasts both written and unwritten iterations of the “Romeo & Juliet” provision. The unwritten provision encompasses situations where consensual sexual conduct occurs between two minors, both aged 13 to 18 years old, generally exempting them from criminal liability. Consequently, a minor defendant cannot be prosecuted for statutory rape under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04 in Lisbon, although they may still face charges for other qualifying sexual offenses. Conversely, Ohio’s written “Romeo & Juliet” provision is encapsulated in Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04(B)(2). This provision serves to mitigate the penalties, and potentially the offense level, of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor convictions, but it does not constitute a defense against statutory rape itself.

It is crucial to recognize the nuances surrounding the severity of penalties between misdemeanor and felony convictions for sex offenses in Lisbon. Should the age difference between the offender and the victim be less than four years, and the offender be a first-time offender, statutory rape would be classified as a misdemeanor rather than a felony. This distinction carries significant weight, as the direct and collateral consequences of misdemeanor and felony sex offense convictions in Lisbon vary substantially. To assess whether you qualify for this age exception/mitigation, it is advisable to consult a proficient Lisbon sex crimes attorney.

By delving into the intricacies of Ohio’s “Romeo & Juliet” provision and its relevance to Lisbon’s statutory rape charges, one can acquire a more comprehensive understanding of the legal landscape. With the guidance of a knowledgeable Lisbon statutory rape defense attorney, individuals can navigate their legal challenges with greater confidence, ensuring that justice is served with due consideration to all relevant factors.

Lisbon applies statutory rape penalties, but Ohio has a specific provision known as the Romeo & Juliet provision that mitigates these penalties. Here’s how it works:

  • Not Statutory Rape – When both parties involved are between the ages of 13 and 18.
  • Misdemeanor of the First Degree – When the offender is over the age of 18 but “less than four years older” than the victim at the time of the offense. For example, if the victim is 15 years old and the offender is 18 years old.
  • A Felony of the Fourth Degree – When the offender is over the age of 18 but less than 10 years older than the victim. For instance, if the victim is 15 years old and the offender is 21 years old.
  • A Felony of the Third Degree – When the offender is over the age of 18 and “10 or more years older” than the victim.

However, if the victim is under the age of 13, it is considered rape and is punishable as a first-degree felony regardless of the offender’s age. The rule of lenity, as defined in Ohio Revised Codes § 2901.04, favors the defendant in case of any ambiguities in a criminal statute. This means that age gaps are traditionally measured based on the parties’ actual birthdays.

To better understand this, let’s consider an example. If the victim was born on December 31, 2004, and the defendant was born on January 1, 2001, their age difference is three years, 11 months, and 30 days, which is legally considered less than four years. Hiring a skilled Lisbon sex crimes lawyer can help calculate the exact age gap between the parties, potentially making a significant difference in the charges faced, whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony.

Distinct Procedures for Investigations and Court Proceedings in Lisbon Regarding Cases of Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor

Prosecuting cases involving sexual conduct with minors poses significant challenges. This is particularly true in statutory rape cases where minors are subjected to deeply personal and testimonial forensic examinations. The complexities are further compounded by the consensual nature of the sexual conduct.

In certain instances, parents may exert pressure on young victims to undergo these arduous examinations in an attempt to prosecute a boyfriend or girlfriend. Unfortunately, minors under the age of 16 often have no choice but to comply with their guardians’ wishes. To safeguard minor victims of sex crimes in Ohio, specialized evidentiary procedures have been established, albeit with limitations. These procedures include:

  • Conducting victim interviews with specially trained sexual assault investigators and psychologists
  • Reviewing all evidence pertaining to the sexual history and reputation of the parties outside the presence of a jury
  • Allowing the minor to be questioned through a closed-circuit camera upon request
  • Appointing a guardian ad litem to represent the minor’s interests during statutory rape proceedings
  • Restricting the admissibility of certain types of sexual reputation evidence at trial

Despite these protective measures, statutory rape investigations in Lisbon often result in significant emotional harm for both parties involved. In an effort to find a more favorable resolution, defense lawyers handling unlawful sexual conduct with minor cases in Columbiana County collaborate tirelessly with prosecutors, parents, the court, and non-profit organizations.

This approach is typically in the best interests of all parties concerned. Individuals accused of unlawful sexual contact or conduct with a minor in Lisbon are advised to seek guidance from an Ohio statutory rape defense lawyer who is well-versed in the specialized procedures employed in sexual assault cases in the state.

Penalties for Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor Conviction in Lisbon

In Lisbon, an unlawful sexual conduct with a minor conviction carries significant consequences. The severity of the offense is determined by the age difference between the parties involved, as outlined in Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04.

For a first-time sex offense where the offender is “less than four years older” than the victim, it is considered a misdemeanor of the first degree. In such cases, offenders may face imprisonment of up to six months and/or fines up to $1,000 under Ohio Revised Code § 2929.28. However, there is a provision, often referred to as the “Romeo & Juliet” defense, which allows first-time statutory rape offenders to potentially avoid jail time with the assistance of a Lisbon prostitution lawyer.

If the Romeo & Juliet mitigation does not apply, the penalties for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor are as follows:

  • A felony of the fourth degree if the offender is fewer than 10 years older than the victim. Fourth-degree felonies may result in imprisonment for up to 18 months and/or fines up to $5,000.
  • A felony of the third degree if the offender is 10 or more years older than the victim. Third-degree felonies carry potential imprisonment for up to five years and/or fines up to $10,000.
  • A second-degree felony regardless of age if the offender has prior convictions of rape, sexual battery, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor (statutory rape), or under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.12 (now repealed). Second-degree felonies carry the possibility of up to eight years of imprisonment and fines up to $15,000.

Here are the penalties associated with a conviction under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04 in Lisbon, which Columbiana County judges may (and often must) order during a statutory rape sentencing:

  • Mandatory restitution: Offenders must compensate the victim for expenses resulting from the illegal conduct, such as medical bills and/or child support.
  • Trial and investigation fees: Offenders may be required to pay all fees, although they are typically waived if the offender pleads guilty.
  • Post-release community control: Probation is imposed after release.
  • Community service: Offenders may be required to perform community service.
  • Family counseling or rehabilitation: These may be mandated as part of the sentencing.
  • Designation as a sexual offender: Offenders are required to register as Tier I or Tier II sex offenders on the Ohio Sex Offender Registry.

Avoiding the life-altering consequences of a Lisbon statutory rape conviction is possible by preventing a conviction altogether. A Lisbon sex crimes lawyer can provide invaluable assistance.

Collateral and Indirect Penalties Resulting from a Lisbon Statutory Rape Conviction

A conviction for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in Lisbon can come with dire consequences, often surpassing the direct penalties imposed. In some cases, defendants facing sex crime charges may opt for a plea bargain under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04, hoping to secure leniency during sentencing, which may include cost waivers or avoiding jail time. However, the long-lasting repercussions of an Ohio sex crime conviction are frequently underestimated.

The most impactful of these unforeseen consequences arise from being labeled as a sex offender under Ohio Revised Code § 2950, along with mandatory registration on the Ohio Sex Offender Registry.

Felony-level statutory rape offenders are categorized as Tier II sex offenders, while misdemeanor statutory rape offenders are classified as Tier I. Tier II offenders are required to remain on the sex offender registry for a period of 25 years, obligating them to report to local law enforcement every six months. On the other hand, Tier I offenders have to register for 10 to 15 years and report to law enforcement on an annual basis.

The Ohio sex offender registry contains important information that needs to be maintained and updated. Please ensure that the following details are accurate and up to date:

  • Legal name, nickname, and aliases
  • Current photo
  • Home and work addresses
  • Conviction type and criminal designation
  • Vehicle registration information
  • Screen names
  • Phone numbers
  • Email address
  • Internet handles, websites, or alternative web designations

It is crucial to keep this information updated as any failure to do so may result in new criminal charges or reincarceration. Furthermore, registered sex offenders in Ohio and Lisbon are subject to various laws governing their residence, work, and activities. These include restrictions on living within 1,000 feet of a school and neighborhood notifications of their presence.

The designation as an Ohio sex offender carries significant legal consequences, including but not limited to:

  • Severe residency restrictions, such as distance requirements from school zones and limitations on certain housing options.
  • Ineligibility for specific public programs, housing, and benefits.
  • Restricted access to certain Lisbon public facilities like parks and pools.
  • Possible loss of child custody rights and the ability to foster or adopt children.
  • Prohibition from entering certain university and college campuses, as well as the denial of student aid.
  • Inability to obtain or the revocation of professional licenses, such as those for teaching, law, or nursing.
  • Disqualification from working as a police officer or any other public servant.
  • Limited employment opportunities at most corporate or professional-level jobs.

Moreover, individuals convicted of felony-level statutory rape in Lisbon face additional consequences as felons:

  • Limited employment prospects, including the loss of most private and public jobs.
  • Revocation of firearms rights for violent felons (which is typically not a consequence of a single statutory rape conviction).
  • Disqualification from certain public benefits.
  • Temporary suspension of voting rights.
  • Challenges in obtaining certain recreational or professional licenses.
  • Difficulties in college admissions and obtaining financial aid.
  • Restrictions on travel outside the state or country.
  • Potential deportation for noncitizens.
  • Challenges in securing mortgages, loans, or financing.

It is crucial for individuals facing statutory rape charges in Lisbon to seek the counsel of a qualified sex crimes defense attorney. Understanding the direct and indirect penalties associated with a conviction can help defendants and their families make informed decisions about their legal options. By doing so, they may be able to avoid the life-altering consequences that come with a Lisbon statutory rape conviction.

A Lisbon Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor Defense Lawyer Can Present Common Defenses

Defeating charges of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in Lisbon requires the support of a skilled Columbiana County sex crimes defense team. However, it is important to note that not all defenses are applicable to every prosecution. The efficacy of your statutory rape defense strategy heavily relies on the specific facts of your case, including the circumstances surrounding the offense and the evidence collected by Lisbon sex crimes investigators.

It is worth mentioning that the success of certain defenses can also depend on various factors, such as the assigned judge, prosecutor, or investigator. Seasoned Lisbon sex crimes lawyers often employ the following defenses when faced with Ohio statutory rape charges:

Lack of Knowledge of Age

One strong defense against charges outlined in Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04 is to demonstrate that the defendant had no knowledge that the victim was under the age of 16. To establish this defense, the jury must evaluate a comprehensive range of evidence, including what the defendant knew about the victim, any job the victim held, statements made by the victim to the defendant, and whether the defendant could reasonably infer the victim’s age based on relevant facts, such as physical appearance.

While willful blindness and purposeful avoidance of age-related questions do not serve as valid defenses to statutory rape charges in Lisbon, possessing a genuine belief that the victim was above the age of 16 can constitute a complete defense against charges of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in Ohio.

Constitutional Violations in Lisbon Statutory Rape Cases: Protecting Defendants’ Rights

When it comes to cases of statutory rape, it is crucial to uphold the principles enshrined in the Constitution. The Fifth Amendment guarantees that a grand jury must indict any defendant accused of this felony offense. Moreover, defendants have the right to legal representation throughout every critical stage of the prosecution process.

In Lisbon, sex crimes investigators must abide by the law and obtain valid warrants to acquire certain evidence. Additionally, defendants have the rightful opportunity to cross-examine and confront the witnesses who testify against them. This fundamental right remains intact, even in cases involving minor victims, although the court may permit cross-examination through closed-circuit television under exceptional circumstances.

It is important to note that the violation of these constitutional rights can have grave consequences. Major breach of constitutional safeguards may result in the exclusion of crucial evidence and, in some instances, lead to the dismissal of statutory rape charges in Lisbon.

Exclusion of Inadmissible Hearsay Evidence: Safeguarding Fairness in Trials

Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor often involves consensual but illegal relations. As a result, victims may be reluctant to testify about their experiences, prompting sex crimes investigators to rely on parental testimony.

However, it is crucial to acknowledge that some evidence gathered in cases of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor may be deemed inadmissible hearsay evidence according to the Supreme Court of Ohio Rules of Evidence. This includes information provided by parents or medical professionals (mandatory reporters) who ascertain that an underage victim has engaged in sexual activities with an adult due to pregnancy, the presence of an STD, Facebook messages, or other reasons.

While such evidence is admissible during grand jury proceedings and for obtaining a warrant, it cannot be presented in trial. Therefore, raising objections to the inclusion of inadmissible hearsay evidence during Lisbon statutory rape prosecutions may impact the ability to sustain the charges brought forward.

No Sexual Conduct

Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04 specifically criminalizes certain “sexual activities,” namely vaginal, oral, or anal sex, with an understanding that lesser sexual contact, like kissing or groping, does not qualify as statutory rape. In cases of alleged unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in Lisbon, prosecutors must provide evidence of actual qualifying sexual conduct, rather than just “contact.”

Minority (Under Age 18)

For individuals under the age of 18, Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04 does not apply to statutory rape charges. Age disparity becomes irrelevant if both parties involved are under 18 and over 13.

While underage defendants are not subject to Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04, they may still face charges for related offenses, such as rape or sexual battery.


Previously, marriage provided complete legal defense against statutory rape, but due to changes in Ohio’s marriage laws, this defense is rarely applicable. The legal age for marriage has been raised to 18 under Ohio’s new legislation. It is worth noting that the change does not nullify marriages that occurred before the legislation took effect, nor does it invalidate valid out-of-state marriages under the United States Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause.

However, it is crucial to ensure that the out-of-state marriage does not violate “public policy,” such as in cases where the victim is under 15, related to the defendant, or coerced into a child marriage.

Lesser Included Offense

Statutory rape, as a lesser-included offense of other Ohio sex crimes, adds complexity to the legal landscape. When elements of a more serious offense like sexual battery hinge on proving all the elements of statutory rape, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor becomes the alternative charge. Remember, you cannot be convicted of a lesser-included offense based on the same facts.

Now, let’s consider the scenario where evidence weakens a complete defense against Lisbon statutory rape charges. In this situation, it can potentially yield a mitigated sentence for a sex offender or prompt Columbiana County prosecutors to propose a favorable plea deal.

Effectively navigating the legal terrain involves showcasing that the individual was of sound mind and body. By doing so, a skilled and compassionate Lisbon unlawful sexual conduct with a minor defense lawyer can craft a strong defense strategy that engages all relevant defenses.

Frequently Asked Questions About Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor Answered by Lisbon Defense Attorneys

Below, our expert Lisbon prostitution lawyers at Youngstown Criminal Law Group provide answers to common questions regarding charges of statutory rape (unlawful sexual conduct with a minor) under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04.

Q: What is Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor?

A: Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor refers to Ohio’s statutory rape law, as defined in Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04. It is a felony-level offense that criminalizes engaging in sexual activity with individuals aged 13, 14, or 15, when the offender is over the age of 18 and had reason to know the victim’s age.

Having sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 13 is considered rape, regardless of the offender’s age. If there is less than a four-year age difference, statutory rape is classified as a misdemeanor. However, if the age difference is greater than four years or the offender has a prior conviction for a serious sex crime, it is categorized as a felony.

Q: What does “Sexual Conduct” with a Minor Mean?

A: Sexual conduct, as defined by the Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04, includes any form of vaginal, anal, or oral penetration, regardless of the gender of the individuals involved.

For the purposes of prosecuting under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04, a minor is someone under the age of 16 but older than 13. Individuals below the age of 13 are considered children, and engaging in sexual activity with them is classified as rape.

Q: What is Corruption of a Minor in Ohio?

A: Corruption of a minor, also known as unlawful sexual conduct with a minor or statutory rape, is defined and criminalized by Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04. These terms are used interchangeably and refer to the same offense.

Q: What Is the Age of Consent in Ohio?

A: The age of consent in Ohio is sixteen (16), and there is no longer a marriage exception to this rule. It is important to note that individuals under the age of 16 cannot legally consent to engage in sexual conduct, as defined above. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Q: Is Kissing a Minor Illegal in Ohio?

A: While kissing a minor is not considered statutory rape in Ohio, it may still be subject to legal restrictions under certain circumstances. The legality of the act depends on the age of the offender and the minor, as well as whether both parties consented to the kiss. Additionally, the circumstances surrounding the kiss are taken into account. Generally, it is advised that individuals over the age of 18 refrain from kissing anyone under the age of 16 for sexual gratification purposes, and individuals, regardless of age, should avoid kissing anyone under the age of 13 with malicious intent.

It is crucial to keep in mind that children cannot legally consent to such contact, and engaging in such behavior may be considered battery or sexual imposition (molestation), particularly in Lisbon. However, with the minor’s consent, it is not illegal to kiss a minor.

Q: Does Ohio Have a “Romeo & Juliet” Law?

A: Yes, Ohio has both a written and unwritten “Romeo & Juliet” provision. The unwritten provision arises from the fact that Ohio’s unlawful sexual conduct with a minor statute does not apply to individuals under the age of 18 who are juvenile offenders. Furthermore, Ohio has a written “Romeo & Juliet” provision specified under subsection (B)(2) of the Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04.

This provision reduces the severity of statutory rape offenses from a fourth-degree felony to a first-degree misdemeanor if the age difference between the individuals involved is less than four years. Additionally, it downgrades the offender from a Tier II to a Tier I sex offender.

Q: What Are Common Defenses to Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor Charges?

A: Aside from any available constitutional or procedural defenses, several common defenses could be used to challenge charges of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, including:

  • Lack of Knowledge of Age – this defense asserts that the offender had no knowledge or reason to believe that the victim was under the age of 16.
  • Marriage – this defense applies when the parties involved were legally married at the time of the offense.
  • Minority – this defense can be used when the defendant was under the age of 18, arguing that they were also a minor and unable to fully comprehend the consequences of their actions.
  • Mental Incapacity – this defense suggests that the sex offender, due to reduced mental functioning, was unable to understand the victim’s age or fully comprehend their own actions.

It is important to note that the specific defenses applicable to Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04 charges may vary depending on the individual circumstances of each case and the evidence available to Lisbon prosecutors.

Q: What Should I Do if I Am Arrested on a Statutory Rape Charge in Lisbon?

A: If you find yourself arrested on a statutory rape charge in Lisbon, it is crucial to take immediate action while ensuring your rights are protected. Follow these steps:

  • Invoke your Fifth Amendment right to silence, which allows you to refrain from answering any questions from the police.
  • Invoke both your Fifth Amendment right to silence and Sixth Amendment right to an attorney, ensuring you have legal representation during any interactions with law enforcement.
  • Limit your social media activity to avoid any statements or actions that could be used against you in court.
  • Refrain from speaking to cellmates or answering any inquiries without the guidance of a trusted Lisbon sex crimes defense lawyer.
  • Contact an Ohio statutory rape criminal lawyer for legal advice or, at the very least, demand to speak with a public defender.

Remember, it is essential to assert your constitutional rights respectfully but firmly. Lisbon sex crimes investigators may approach you, hoping to obtain crucial evidence in their case. Your decision to remain silent and seek legal counsel can greatly impact the outcome, potentially leading to an acquittal of the statutory rape charge in Lisbon.

Lisbon Lawyer Specializing in Unlawful Sexual Contact with a Minor

Youngstown Criminal Law Group, a reputable legal practice in Lisbon, offers expert defense for individuals facing charges of Unlawful Sexual Contact with a Minor. Our dedicated team of Columbiana County sex crimes defense attorneys understands the sensitivity of such cases and provides a safe environment for you to discuss your concerns regarding statutory rape.

When you choose us, you will have a trusted advocate by your side, both inside and outside the courtroom. We can address any questions you may have about Ohio’s statutory rape laws and provide effective defense strategies tailored to your specific situation.

Take action now and contact Youngstown Criminal Law Group today for a free and confidential sex crimes defense consultation. Reach out to us online or call 330-992-3036. Let us protect your rights and guide you through this challenging time.

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