If you have been arrested and/or charged with a sex crime, contact Columbus sex crimes attorney Adam Burke. The prosecution will begin to build a criminal case against you as soon as you are arrested, so it is important to ask to speak with an attorney right away.
Adam has more than a decade of experience representing Columbus clients against serious felony and misdemeanor charges. He understands that it is his job, as your criminal defense attorney, to make the prosecution’s job as difficult as possible. He tenaciously defends his clients by highlighting information which strengthens his argument while simultaneously weakening the prosecution’s case. Contact his Columbus office today to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about your legal rights.
Sex Crimes in Ohio
In 2015, 8,447 men and women reported being a victim of sexual assault in Ohio. More than 93% of the suspects in these cases were male. Statistics indicate that most sexual assaults in Ohio are not committed by strangers. 91% of victims reporting having some sort of pre-existing relationship with the person they accused of sexual assault. Crimes of a sexual nature can have serious criminal and non-criminal consequences. In fact, sex crimes are so serious that even an accusation of sexual assault can have lifelong social consequences.
Defining Sexual Conduct and Sexual Contact
Ohio has many sex crime laws on the books. Some laws are broad and criminalize a wide range of sexual acts. Others are narrow and focus on specific sexually-related activities. Sex crimes are generally defined as either “sexual conduct” or “sexual contact.” It is important to understand the difference between sexual conduct and sexual contact. While they may sound similar and potentially interchangeable, they actually refer to specific behavior. The penalties associated with sexual conduct are generally (but not always) more severe than those for sexual contact.
In Ohio, sexual conduct is defined as (a) vaginal intercourse between a man and a woman; (b) anal intercourse, fellatio, and cunnilingus between any two people; or (c) any penetration of the vaginal or anal opening of another person without permission using any body part, instrument, apparatus, or object. So, sexual conduct is what we generally think of as sex.
Sexual contact is defined in Ohio as touching the erogenous zone of another person for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification. Erogenous zones can include (but are not limited to) the thigh, genitals, buttock, pubic region, or female breast. Sexual contact does not require penetration. Instead, merely touching another person’s erogenous zones for sexual gratification is sufficient.
In Ohio, sex crimes will define which of the above behaviors are prohibited. If a sex crime indicates that “sexual activity” is prohibited, sexual conduct or sexual contact will be sufficient.
Sex Crimes in Ohio
There are more than twenty unique sex crimes on the books in Ohio. Chapter 2907 of the Ohio Revised Code lists each of the state’s sexually-related crimes. This is a brief overview of some of the sex crimes that are most commonly charged and prosecuted in Ohio.
Rape. Rape is defined in Section 2907.02 as the act of sexual conduct with another person by force, threat of force, or deception and the act of sexual conduct with another person who you know is unable to consent or resist because of a mental or physical condition. Rape is also defined as engaging in sexual conduct after you have “substantially impaired” another person, for the purpose of preventing resistance to unwanted sexual conduct.
In Ohio, you can be charged with rape if you deceive, force, or threaten another person to engage in sexual conduct without their consent. You can also be charged with rape if you engage in sexual conduct with a person who you know is unable to consent or resist to the act.
Sexual Battery. Sexual battery is defined in Section 2907.03 as knowingly coercing another person to engage in sexual conduct through means that would prevent the resistance of a person of ordinary resolution, engaging in sexual conduct with a person who does not understand the nature of the act, or engaging in sexual conduct when a person lacks the ability to control his or her own conduct because of impairment or intoxication. Generally, sexual battery is the act of engaging in sexual conduct with another person who cannot resist or understand the nature of the act.
Sexual Imposition. Sexual imposition is defined in Section 2907.06 as engaging in offensive sexual contact with another person. The statute lists several circumstances and scenarios in which sexual contact between two people could be classified as sexual imposition. Generally, engaging in offensive sexual contact with another person who does not consent, cannot understand, or is not aware of the behavior is sexual imposition.
Gross Sexual Imposition. Gross sexual imposition is an aggravated form of sexual imposition. The crime is defined in Section 2907.05 as engaging in offensive sexual contact with another person through force or the threat of force, by preventing resistance, or administering a drug or intoxicant.
Note, each of these crimes can be aggravated if the victim of the sexual conduct or sexual contact is under the age of 13, mentally or physically disabled, or a person of advanced age.
Other sex crimes in Ohio include unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, importuning, public indecency, compelling prostitution, promoting prostitution, solicitation, and pandering obscenity. If you have been arrested or charged with a sex crime in Ohio do not hesitate to contact the experienced Columbus sex crime criminal defense attorneys at Burke, Meis & Associates.
Penalties for Sex Crimes in Ohio
Sex crimes can be charged as misdemeanor or felony offenses. Each specific Ohio sex crime will carry a unique range of penalties that may be sentenced if you are convicted. The sentence for a sex crime conviction can depend on the severity of the act, aggravating or mitigating circumstances, and your existing criminal record (if applicable).
A conviction for a misdemeanor sex crime can be punished by up to 180 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. If convicted of a misdemeanor sex crime in Ohio, you may also be sentenced to a term of probation, be required to perform community service, or be required to register as a sex offender with the state.
A conviction for a felony sex crime can be punished by no less than one to eleven years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines. If convicted of a felony sex crime in Ohio, you may also be required to register as a sex offender with the state.
In Ohio, sex crimes are sorted into three different tiers based on the severity of the offense. These tiers dictate requirements for registering with the state as a sex offender.
Defenses to Sex Crime Charges in Ohio
When you hire an experienced Columbus sex crime attorney to defend you, he will investigate your case to determine which defense(s) he may be able to argue. Each case is different. Any defenses that may be available will depend on the facts and circumstances specific to your case. However, commonly argued defenses to sex crimes in Ohio include:
- Consent of the victim or accuser;
- False allegations;
- Improper search and seizure;
- Illegal arrest;
- Lack of required motive, intent, or knowledge;
- Lack of evidence to support the charge;
- Intoxication; and
- Mistaken identity.
Experienced Columbus Sex Crimes Attorney
Have you been accused of, arrested for, or charged with a sex crime in Ohio? If so, you should not hesitate to contact Columbus sex crimes attorney Adam Burke. Since 2008, Mr. Burke has successfully represented hundreds of clients in the greater Columbus area. He has defended clients against a wide range of sex crime charges. The consequences associated with a sex crime conviction can be severe.
In order to minimize the negative consequences you may face, Mr. Burke will attack the prosecution’s case against you and fight to have charges against you reduced or dropped. He is not afraid to take your case to court. He is a fierce litigator who passionately argues for his clients. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin to strategize your defense. Contact us today to arrange a free initial consultation.