If you have been accused of statutory rape in Ohio, you should know that your defense will have significant differences from other sexual assault cases. In Ohio, the law states that anyone under the age of 16 cannot legally consent to sexual activity. If you engaged in sexual conduct with someone under 16, that conduct is considered rape under the law—even if it didn’t involve assault, force, or lack of consent.
Building a Defense Against Statutory Rape in Ohio
The age difference between the two parties is a vital factor in your case. Generally, sexual conduct between individuals who are both between the ages of 13 and 17 are legal as long as they do not involve force or coercion. If one person is under 16, but the age difference between the parties is less than four years, it is a misdemeanor.
If the age difference between the parties is more than 10 years, and the sexual conduct involves someone between the ages of 13 and 16, it is a third-degree felony. Finally, anyone over the age of 18 engaged in sexual conduct with a child under 13 years old can be charged with a first-degree felony and face enhanced sentences for child enticement and assault.
It is important to have an experienced sexual assault defense attorney on your side to protect your rights. Depending on the circumstances of the case, we may be able to:
- Fight to get the charge dismissed
- Negotiate a lesser charge
- Fight for a reduction in penalties (such as probation instead of jail time)
- Fight to keep you off the sex offender registry
- File an expungement motion to seal your criminal record
Are you or someone you know facing criminal charges?
If you are facing criminal charges, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Steven R. Adams is recognized by Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America, National Trial Lawyers Top 100, and is one of U.S. News' Best Law Firms. Please contact us online or call our Cincinnati office directly at 513-929-9333 to schedule your free consultation.