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Ohio Sex Crimes

Many sex crimes in Ohio are felonies and result in serious penalties under Ohio Revised Code (ORC), including time in custody and sex offender registration – a long-term, extremely harsh measure. Call us at (703) 595-9742 if you find yourself charged with the following offenses or any other Ohio sex crime:

Rape – Under ORC 2907.02, it is unlawful for anyone to engage in sexual conduct when the victim is younger than 13 years old, the offender impairs the victim’s judgment or control, the victim is impaired by a mental or physical condition or advanced age, or the victim is compelled by force or the threat of force. Rape is a first-degree felony and the maximum punishment depends on the circumstances.

Gross Sexual Imposition – ORC 2907.05 makes it illegal to have sexual conduct for the purpose of sexual gratification under force or threat of force, if drugs or alcohol are used to substantially impair the other’s judgment or control and they are administered secretly, by force, threat of force, deception, or as part of a medical procedure, or if the other party is younger than 13. Gross Sexual Imposition does not require sex, only a touching that meet the discussed criteria. In most situations, these cases are considered as a fourth-degree felony, but if certain factors exist it can be heightened and prison is mandatory in some circumstances.

Sexual Imposition – According to ORC 2907.06, it is a crime to have sexual contact with another if it is known that the touching is offensive, or is reckless, the accuser is substantially impaired and as a result is unable to understand, control or object, the accuser’s ability to appraise the nature of or control the touching is substantially impaired, the accuser is older than 13 but younger than 16, and the accused is over 18 and 4 or more years older than the accuser, the accused is a mental health professional and the accuser is a client or patient. An interesting aspect of this statue is that evidence other than an accuser’s testimony is required. Specifically, ORC 2907.06(b) states, “No person shall be convicted of a violation of this section solely upon the victim’s testimony unsupported by other evidence.” Sexual imposition is a third-degree misdemeanor; however, if certain prior sex crimes convictions exist, it can be a first-degree misdemeanor.

Sexual Battery – ORC 2907.03 defines sexual battery as engaging in sexual conduct under coercion, if the offender knows the victim’s control is impaired, the victim is unaware that the act is being committed, or the offender has a specific type of relationship with the victim. This includes a parent, guardian, teacher, coach, or mental health professional. Sexual battery is at least a third-degree felony, but can be heightened to a second-degree felony with mandatory prison time in cases where the alleged victim is under 13 years old.

Pandering & Child Pornography – ORC 2907.32 states that no one, with knowledge of the material or performance involved, shall create, reproduce, publish, promote, buy, possess, or control any obscene material. This is a fifth-degree felony. ORC 2907.321 states pandering obscenity involving a minor is a fourth-degree, second-degree, or third-degree felony, depending on the facts and the offender’s criminal past.

Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor (Statutory Rape) – Based on ORC 2907.04, no one over 18 years old shall knowingly perform sex acts with someone between 13 and 16 years old, or if the offender is reckless in knowing the victim’s age. Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, also known as statutory rape, is at least a fourth-degree felony. However, if the offender is fewer than four years older than the victim, it is a first-degree misdemeanor.

Prostitution & Solicitation – ORC 2907.25 states that no person shall engage in sexual activity for hire. Prostitution is a third-degree misdemeanor. Under ORC 2907.23, it is illegal for any person to knowingly entice, solicit, or patronize a prostitute or brothel, or to procure a prostitute for someone else. While procurement of prostitution is a first-degree misdemeanor, it can be a felony under certain circumstances. Additionally, ORC 2907.24 makes it illegal for someone with prior knowledge of their positive HIV status to engage in sexual activity if they do not inform the other person and is considered a second–degree felony.

Public Indecency – Under ORC 2907.09, it is illegal for a person to knowingly or recklessly expose their private parts, masturbate, or engage in sexual conduct when it is likely to be viewed and offend others. Depending on the exact circumstances or if it involved a minor, this can be charged anywhere between a fourth-degree misdemeanor and a fifth-degree felony.

Sexting – The offense of pandering also encompasses sexting, which are texts or other electronic communications that involve sexually explicit images and videos. This is an extremely complex issue, since if a juvenile sends pictures of him or herself, receives images depicting another minor, or distributes the images, they become liable for a child pornography charge. These can be low-level felonies and can have a serious impact on an adolescent’s future.

Computer Sex Crimes – Many sex offenses can take place over the internet, including prostitution, child pornography, soliciting a child, voyeurism, and commercial sexual exploitation of a minor. The exact classification and penalties associated with these charges vary depending on the circumstances, so if you are accused of committing a sex offense through the internet, contact us as soon as possible.

Sex Crimes Penalties

The general punishments upon conviction of a misdemeanor or felony sex crime in Ohio include:

Fourth-degree misdemeanor – Up to 30 days in jail
Third-degree misdemeanor – Up to 60 days in jail
Second-degree misdemeanor – Up to 90 days in jail
First-degree misdemeanor – Up to 180 days in jail
Fifth-degree felony – Six to 12 months in prison
Fourth-degree felony – Six to 18 months in prison
Third-degree felony – Nine months to five years in prison
Second-degree felony – Two to eight years in prison
First-degree felony – Three to 11 years in prison

Other statutory penalties may include:

Fines between $150 to $20,000
Court fees
Sex offender registration

Loss of gun rights
Loss of voting rights during imprisonment
Challenges going to college or graduate school
Inability to obtain certain professional licenses
Inability to hold public office
Difficulty maintaining employment
Immigration issues
Child custody and visitation issues
Difficulty renting housing

Ohio Sex Offender Registration
If you are convicted of a sex offense that requires sex offender registration in Ohio, then you will be placed in one of three categories. These tiers dictate how long and how often you must register with local law enforcement.

Tier I – Register once per year for 15 years. You may petition the court for removal from the list after 10 years. You are not subject to neighborhood or community notification requirements.

Tier II – Register every 180 days for 25 years. You are not subject to neighborhood or community notification requirements.

Tier III – Register every 90 days for life. You may be subject to neighborhood and community notification, which means all residents within 1,000 feet of where you live will be notified when you move into the area.

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