Statutory Rape Laws in Ohio
Statutory rape usually refers to the act of having sexual intercourse with someone who is a minor, or not of a legal age.
The crime in statutory rape suggests that younger individuals are manipulated, or coerced into having sex.
The age of consent allowing sexual relations in the state of Ohio is sixteen-years of age. However, not all statutory rape cases are so cut-and-dry, and can vary quite dramatically regarding individual charges. This means, that in most cases, if someone has sex with an individual who is under the age of 16, they may face legal penalties if found guilty of doing so.
For example, according to Ohio’s Allegiance to End Sexual Violence stat sheet, “even if a teen and older individual claim they are both willing participants in the relationship or sexual encounter, in some situations it is still considered rape under the law.”
Sentencing for statutory rape charges can often depend on the age of the individual. According to Ohio Revised Code (2907.04, section A), “no person who is eighteen years of age or older shall engage in sexual conduct with another, who is not the spouse of the offender, when the offender knows the other person is thirteen years of age or older but less than sixteen years of age, or the offender is reckless in that regard.”
In most cases, even if a minor is 16-years-of-age or older, it may still be considered rape to have sexual relations with them.
Penalties for statutory rape may include a fine of up to five-thousand dollars, or a sentence of six months to more than one-year spent in either jail or prison; or both. You may also face both penalties, if convicted of statutory rape.
The laws may also take into consideration how much older a defendant is in contrast to a victim. This can increase the fines or penalties involved with a statutory rape charge.
According to state laws in Ohio, those found guilty of any statutory rape charge, or rape charge, in the state of Ohio must register as a sex offender.
Statutory Rape Exemptions
In the state of Ohio, certain cases of statutory rape may qualify for marital exemption. This would indicate that a minor was married to someone over the age of 18, and it would mean that any sexual relations they have are acceptable under the law in the state of Ohio.
There are also certain exceptions in place for individuals who commit statutory rape, but are less than four-years apart in age. This is sometimes referred to as the ‘Romeo and Juliet’ rule.
Do you need a Lawyer for Statutory Rape Charges?
Statutory rape charges can be a difficult thing to sort through.
Some individuals charged with statutory rape feel they have done nothing wrong, as the victim may have claimed they were a different age at the time of the sexual encounter.
No matter what your story may be regarding a statutory rape charge, you should probably speak with a lawyer to determine your options and rights.
For more information regarding statutory rape laws and possible exemptions, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for more details, at: (216) 407-5199.