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Columbus Child Sex Crime Defense Attorney

Columbus Child Sex Crime Defense AttorneyHave you been charged with a child sex crime in Ohio? If so, it is important to seek immediate legal assistance from an experienced Columbus child sex crime defense attorney. Adam Burke has spent the last decade tenaciously defending clients against serious criminal charges. Contact his Columbus office today for a free consultation.

In Ohio, allegations of sexually-based crimes are taken very seriously. When those allegations involve the sexual exploitation of a child, Ohio will aggressively investigate and prosecute those crimes. Many of Ohio’s child sex crime laws are actually extensions of the state’s adult sex crime laws. Ohio’s sex crime laws have built-in aggravating factors. Many of those aggravating factors focus on the age of the victim. If a child is involved in or the victim of a sex crime in Ohio, you can face serious and potentially life-changing criminal penalties.

Child Sex Crimes in Ohio

In Ohio, it is a crime to engage in sexual or sexually-related behavior when that behavior involves a child. While Ohio does have some sex crime laws that solely target behavior involving children, most of the state’s child sex crime provisions are found within the state’s broader sex crime laws. In other words, when a sex crime involves a child you may be guilty of an aggravated charge of one of Ohio’s adult sex crimes.

For example, if you expose yourself to a child in public you would likely be charged under Section 2907.09 of the Ohio Revised Code for public indecency. There is no separate statute to criminalize exposure to a child. Instead, the statute contains a provision that “aggravates” the charge when the victim is a child. The penalties for aggravated charges are more severe than those for the underlying crime. Most of Ohio’s sex crime laws follow this method.

Aggravated Sex Crimes When Victim is a Minor

Rape

Rape, defined in Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.02, is the crime of engaging in sexual conduct with another person when that person does not consent or lacks the ability to consent. Rape is generally a First Degree Felony, unless one of a number of listed aggravating factors is applicable. If the victim of a rape is a child, the crime will be aggravated and more severe penalties will be applicable. In some cases, the rape of a child can result in life imprisonment.

Sexual Battery

Sexual battery, defined in Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.03, is the crime of engaging in forcible, unwanted sexual conduct with another person who is unwilling or unable to consent. Sexual battery is generally a Third Degree Felony. If the victim of a sexual battery is under the age of 13, the crime is aggravated to a Second Degree Felony.

Gross Sexual Imposition

Gross sexual imposition, defined in Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.05, is the crime of engaging in unwanted sexual contact with another person who is unwilling or unable to consent. Gross sexual imposition is generally a Fourth Degree Felony. If the victim of gross sexual imposition is under the age of 13, the crime is aggravated to a Third Degree Felony.

Voyeurism

Voyeurism, defined in Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.08, is the crime of trespassing to spy on another person for sexual arousal or gratification. Voyeurism is essentially Ohio’s “Peeping Tom” statute. Voyeurism is generally a Third Degree Misdemeanor. If the victim of voyeurism is a minor, the crime is aggravated to a Fifth Degree Felony. It is important to distinguish between adult content on websites like hdpornvideo.xxx and committing voyeurism.

Public Indecency

Public indecency, defined in Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.09, is the crime of exposing genitals, engaging in (or appearing to engage in) sexual conduct or masturbation in the view of others. Public indecency is generally a Fourth Degree Misdemeanor. If the victim of public indecency is a minor, the crime will be aggravated to a First Degree Misdemeanor.

Compelling Prostitution

Compelling prostitution, defined in Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.21, is the crime of causing or encouraging another person to engage in sexual activity for compensation. Compelling prostitution is generally a Third Degree Felony. If the victim of compelling prostitution is at least 16 years old but less than 18 years old the crime is aggravated to a Second Degree Felony. If the victim of compelling prostitution is under the age of 16, the crime is aggravated to a First Degree Felony.

Ohio laws Specifically Designed to Criminalize Sexual Behavior Involving Children

Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor

Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, defined in Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.04, is the crime of engaging in sexual conduct with a child between the ages of 13 and 16. Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor is generally a Fourth Degree Felony.

The age of the victim and the offender can affect the penalty for this crime. If the offender is less than 4 years older than the minor, the crime will be reduced to a First Degree Misdemeanor. If the offender is at least 10 years older than the minor, the crime will be aggravated to a Third Degree Felony. If the offender has prior convictions for similar offenses, the crime will be aggravated to a Second Degree Felony.

Importuning

Importuning, defined in Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.07, is the crime of soliciting a minor to engage in sexual activity in person or by electronic communication. The severity of the crime will depend on the age of the victim and the age of the offender. Importuning is generally a Third Degree Felony or Fourth Degree Felony.

Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles

Disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, defined in Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.31, is the crime of providing obscene or harmful material to juveniles. Disseminating matter harmful to juveniles is generally a First Degree Misdemeanor. If the victim of the crime is under the age of 13, the crime can be aggravated to a Fourth Degree Felony.

Penalties for Child Sex Crimes in Ohio

Each Ohio child sex crime carries a unique and specific penalty or range of penalties. If you are charged with a child sex crime in Ohio prosecutors will probably seek the maximum penalties the state will allow. Most child sex crimes in Ohio are charged as felony offenses. Here is an overview of the potential penalties for non-repeat violent felony offenses in Ohio: Fifth Degree Felony: 6-12 months in prison, maximum fines of up to $2,500

  • Fifth Degree Felony: 6-12 months in prison, maximum fines of up to $2,500
  • Fourth Degree Felony: 6-18 months in prison, maximum fines of up to $,5000
  • Third Degree Felony: 1-5 years in prison, maximum fines of up to $10,000
  • Second Degree Felony: 2-8 years in prison, maximum fines of up to $15,000
  • First Degree Felony: 3-10 years in prison, maximum fines of up to $20,000.

The penalties can, however, be more severe. The penalties generally depend on the age of the victim, the age of the offender, whether force was used to commit the act, if the victim suffered any bodily harm or injury, and the offender’s existing criminal record (if applicable).

Child Sex Crimes and Sex Offender Registration

If you are convicted or plead guilty to a child sex crime in Ohio you may be required to register with the state as a sex offender. Adults who are convicted must register with their county’s Electronic Sex Offender Registration and Notification (e-SORN) unit. Juveniles who are convicted may be required to register with the Public Registry-Qualified Juvenile Offender Registry (PRQJOR).

Sex offenders in Ohio are placed into classifications – or Tiers – based on the severity of the crime for which they are convicted or plead guilty. Tier 1 is the least severe and imposes the least amount of restrictions on registered offenders. Tier 3 is the most severe and imposes the harshest restrictions on registered offenders. For more information about Sex Offender Registry Tiers in Ohio, click here.

Statute of Limitations for Child Sex Crimes in Ohio

In Ohio, the state is generally required to begin the prosecution of criminal charges within a certain amount of time. The state has 2 years to prosecute misdemeanor offenses and 6 years to prosecute felony offenses after they are committed. If, however, the victim of a sex crime is a child, the statute of limitations may be extended.

If you are charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, gross sexual imposition, and compelling prostitution, the state of Ohio has 20 years from the date of the alleged act to commence prosecution. If you are charged with rape or sexual assault (or any conspiracy, attempt, or complicity thereof), the state of Ohio has 25 years from the date of the alleged act to commence a prosecution. If DNA evidence that is relevant to a sexual assault or rape is uncovered outside of this 25-year statute of limitations, the state of Ohio may still commence a prosecution within 5 years of uncovering that evidence.

Experienced Columbus Child Sex Crime Defense Attorney

The consequences of a child sex crime conviction in Ohio can change your life forever. In addition to lengthy prison sentences and hefty monetary fines, your personal reputation and freedoms are likely to suffer, as well. A child sex crime conviction can limit your ability to find gainful employment, find an apartment or home, explore public parks and government buildings, or even get a loan. The best way to limit these negative consequences is to hire an experienced Columbus child sex crime defense attorney to handle your case. The prosecution will begin to gather evidence and build a case against you as soon as you are arrested. The sooner you hire an attorney to represent you, the sooner they can begin to create your defense.

Columbus child sex crime attorney Adam Burke has more than a decade of experience handling criminal matters. He tenaciously fights to have criminal charges against his clients reduced or dropped. When you hire experienced Columbus child sex crime defense attorney Adam Burke to represent you, he will fight to ensure that your rights are protected and that you are given the opportunity to defend yourself against these serious charges. Contact his office today to schedule an initial consultation.

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Burke, Meis & Associates

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Columbus, Ohio 43206

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