Weisbuch Law, Columbus Sex Crimes Defense Attorney

Sexual offense allegations are very serious charges. If you have been charged with a sexual crime in Ohio, it is imperative you hire an experienced Columbus criminal defense attorney who will defend you against the allegations.

If you have been charged with a sex crime in the Columbus, Ohio area, contact Weisbuch Law to discuss the facts of your particular situation. Ben Weisbuch of Weisbuch Law is an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who will make every effort to help you avoid harsh penalties and severe consequences.

Call Weisbuch Law at (614) 285-5291 for a free consultation today about your alleged sexual offense in Franklin County and the surrounding areas of Ohio.

Commonly charged sexual offenses in Ohio include:

  • Rape
  • Sexual Battery
  • Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor
  • Sexual Imposition
  • Child Pornography
  • Prostitution
  • Solicitation
  • Lewd and Lascivious Acts
  • Importuning
  • Internet Sex Crimes
  • Child Molestation
  • Procuring
  • Voyeurism
  • Public Indecency

Common Sexual Offenses in Ohio

Some of the most common sex crime charges in Ohio include the following.

Rape– Ohio Rev. Code § 2907.02: An individual can be charged with this offense if they engage in sexual conduct with another person when the offender purposely compels the other person to submit by force or threat of force. Someone can also be charged with this offense if they engage in sexual conduct with another person who is not their spouse, or is their spouse but lives separately, and:

  • They substantially impair that person’s judgment or control, in order to prevent resistance, through the use of drugs, controlled substances or intoxicant by force, threat of force or deception;
  • The other person is less than 13 years old; or
  • The alleged offender knows or has reasonable cause to believe the other person’s ability to resist or consent is impaired by mental or physical condition, or advanced age.

This offense is punishable as a felony of the first degree, and depending on the age of the victim, may result in life imprisonment or life without parole.

Sexual Battery– Ohio Rev. Code § 2907.03: This offense occurs when the alleged offender engages in sexual conduct with another person, and the offender:

  • Knowingly coerces another person to submit by any means that prevents resistance;
  • Knows the other person’s ability to control their conduct is substantially impaired;
  • Knows the other person submits because they are unaware the act is being committed;
  • Knows the other person submits because they mistakenly identified the alleged offender as their spouse;
  • Is the other person’s parent, including adoptive or step, or guardian;
  • Has supervisory or disciplinary authority over a patient in a hospital or other institution or is in custody of law;
  • Is a teacher, administrator, coach or other person employed by or serving in a public school, and the other person attends the school;
  • Is a teacher, administrator, coach or other person employed by or serving in an institution of higher education, and the other person is a minor;
  • Is a person with temporary or occasional disciplinary control over the other person, such as an athletic coach, instructor or scouting troop leader;
  • Is a mental health professional who induces a client or patient to believe the sexual conduct is necessary for mental health treatment;
  • Is an employee of a detention facility and the other person is confined in the detention facility
  • Is a cleric and the other person is a minor and attends the church served by the cleric.

Sexual Imposition- Ohio Rev. Code § 2907.06: A person can be charged with this offense if they have sexual contact with a person who is not their spouse, cause another person to have sexual contact with them, or cause two or more other persons to have sexual contact when:

  • The alleged offender knows the sexual contact is offensive or is reckless;
  • The alleged offender knows the other person’s ability to control the offender’s conduct is substantially impaired;
  • The alleged offender knows the other person submits because they are unaware of the sexual contact;
  • The alleged offender is at least 18 and four or more years older than the other person, and the other person is 13 but less than 16 years old; or
  • The alleged offender is a mental health professional who induces a client or patient to believe the sexual conduct is necessary for mental health treatment.

This offense is punishable as a misdemeanor of the first or third degree, depending on the number of prior sexual offense convictions.

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Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor – Ohio Rev. Code § 2907.04: An individual who is 18 years or older commits this offense when they knowingly or recklessly engage in sexual conduct with another person who is 13 but less than 16 years old. This offense is punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree or felony of the fourth, third or second degree.

Compelling Prostitution– Ohio Rev. Code § 2907.21: A person can be charged with this offense if they knowingly:

  • Compel another to engage in sexual activity for hire,
  • Induce, procure, encourage, solicit, request or otherwise facilitate a minor or someone the alleged offender believes to be a minor to engage in sexual activity for hire,
  • Pay or agree to pay a minor or someone the alleged offender believes to be a minor so the minor will engage in sexual activity, whether or not the alleged offender knows the age of the minor,
  • Pay a minor or someone the alleged offender believes to be a minor for having engaged in sexual activity, whether or not the alleged offender knows the age of the minor, and/or
  • Allow a minor or someone the alleged offender believes to be a minor to engage in sexual activity for hire if the alleged offender is a parent, guardian or custodian of the minor child.

This offense is punishable as a felony of the third, second or first degree, and may result in a mandatory prison sentence.

Ohio Sex Offender Classification

In 2008, Ohio signed into law the federal Adam Welsh Act, which was created to give a universal method to classifying sex offenders nationwide. The Act classifies convicted sex offenders into three different tiers.

Ohio’s current sex-registration statutes create a three-tier classification system. Unlike the earlier “labeling” classification system under Megan’s Law, 146 Ohio Laws, Part II, 2560, in which a judge could consider the characteristics of an offender before sentencing, “tier” classification is based solely upon the offense for which a person is convicted and the judge has no discretion to modify the classification. A violation of R.C. 2907.04 is a fourth degree felony and prohibits sexual conduct between a person 18 or older and someone 13, 14, or 15 years old. R.C. 2907.04(A) and (B)(1). The offense is a third-degree felony if the age span is ten or more years, R.C. 2907.04(B)(3), and becomes a second-degree felony if the offender has certain prior offenses, R.C. 2907.04(B)(4). The offense is reduced to a misdemeanor of the first degree if the age span is less than four years. R.C. 2907.04(B)(2). For purposes of R.C. Chapter 2950, certain violations of R.C. 2907.04 qualify as “sexually oriented offenses.” R.C. 2950.01(A)(2) and (3). A “sex offender” is a person who is convicted of “any sexually oriented offense.” R.C. 2950.01(B)(1). A person convicted of violating R.C. 2907.04 is a Tier I sex offender if the offender was less than four years older than the victim, there was no consent, and the offender has not been convicted of or pled guilty to certain sex offenses. R.C. 2950.01(E)(1)(b). But if the offender is at least four years older than the victim, or if the offender is less than four years older but has been convicted of or pled guilty to certain sex offenses, the classification is raised to that of Tier II sex offender. R.C. 2950.01(F)(1)(b).

Tier I – Sex offenders in this tier must register with the county sheriff at least one time every year for 15 years. The offender must also register any change of address, place of employment, or enrollment in school or an institution of higher education. Tier I sex offense convictions include Importuning, Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Sexual Imposition, Gross Sexual Imposition, Voyeurism, and Illegal Use of a Minor in Nudity-oriented Material or Performance (Child pornography).

Tier II – Sex offenders in this tier must register with the county sheriff every 180 days for 25 years. The offender must also register any change of address, place of employment, or enrollment in school or an institution of higher education. Tier II sex offense convictions include Compelling Prostitution, Pandering Obscenity Involving a Minor, Pandering Sexually Oriented Material Involving a Minor, Child Endangering, Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Illegal Use of a Minor in a Nudity-oriented Material or Performance, and any repeat Tier I offender.

Tier III – Sex offenders in this tier must register with the county sheriff every 90 days for life. The offender must also register any change of address, place of employment, or enrollment in school or an institution of higher education. Additionally, offenders in this tier are subject to community notification to any neighborhood within 1000 feet of the offender’s address any time they change their address. Tier III sex offense convictions include Rape, Sexual Battery, Murder or Aggravated Murder with Sexual Motivation, Gross Sexual Imposition, and any repeat Tier II offender.

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Ohio Penalties for Sex Crimes

The following are suggested penalties for sexual offenses under Ohio law; however, many of these punishments can be upgraded, depending on the age of the alleged victim, whether a mandatory sentence is required, or the number of prior sexual offenses the alleged offender has been convicted of.

  • Misdemeanor of the Third Degree – Up to 60 days in jail and/or fines up to $500;
  • Misdemeanor of the Second Degree – Jail sentence not more than 90 days and/or a fine up to $750;
  • Misdemeanor of the First Degree – Up to 180 days in jail and/or fines up to $1,000;
  • Felony of the Fifth Degree – Prison time from six to 12 months and/or fines up to $2,500;
  • Felony of the Fourth Degree – Prison sentence from six to 18 months and/or fines not more than $5,000;
  • Felony of the Third Degree – Prison sentence ranging from one to five years and/or fines not more than $10,000;
  • Felony of the Second Degree – Sentence ranges from two to eight years in prison and/or fines not exceeding $15,000; and
  • Felony of the First Degree – Ohio prison sentence ranging from three to 10 years and/or fines up to $20,000.

Other Possible Repercussions for Sex Crimes

Other consequences convicted sexual offenders can possibly face in addition to criminal punishments include:

  • Damage to your reputation,
  • Loss of your employment or permanent inability to find a job,
  • Loss of your friendships or relationships with family members, and/or
  • Requirements to register as a sex offender.

Recent Case-Law discussing repercussions for Sex Crimes

- State v. Bodyke, 126 Ohio St. 3d 266 (2010)

- In re C.P., 131 Ohio St. 3d 513 (2012)

- State v. Lloyd, 132 Ohio St. 3d 135 (2012)

At Weisbuch Law, we are proud of our 15+ years of criminal justice experience and our ability to defend you against the heavy hand of government. We can defend you against sex crime allegations. If you have been charged with a sex crime, call a Columbus defense attorney now at 614-285-5291 for free consultation!

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