Sex Offenses

Sex Offenses

Columbus Sex Crime Defense Attorney

Ohio law, specifically Chapter 2907 of the revised code, names all of these actions as sex offenses:

  • Rape
  • Sexual battery
  • Unlawful sexual contact with a minor
  • Gross sexual imposition
  • Sexual imposition
  • Importuning
  • Voyeurism
  • Disseminating matter harmful to juveniles
  • Displaying matter harmful to juveniles
  • Pandering obscenity
  • Pandering obscenity involving a minor
  • Illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or performance
  • Illegally operating sexually oriented business
  • Permitting unlawful operation of viewing booths depicting sexual conduct
  • Permitting juveniles on premises of adult entertainment establishment and use of false information to gain entry
  • Deception to obtain matter harmful to juveniles
  • Compelling acceptance of objectionable materials


Many potential charges seem simple and objectionable enough, but legally defining and prosecuting the crime of rape is actually quite complicated. Beyond that, what counts as “importuning,” how does sexual battery differ from sexual imposition, and what constitutes the display of harmful matter (hint: a court will know obscenity if it sees it)?

If Columbus, OH, police and representatives from the City Attorney’s office are accusing you of committing a sex crime, you may need to consult with an experienced defense lawyer at Leist Warner just to understand what your alleged offense was.


Defining a Few Key Terms

Anyone under the age of 18 is considered a juvenile and a minor. The terms get used interchangeably throughout most Ohio statutes, and both words mean the same thing when included in the language of sex crime laws. This matters particularly in relation to a charge of importuning, which amounts to child molestation. Any sexual contact with a minor younger than 13 is automatically considered a crime in Ohio, while juveniles older than 13 can be legal sexual partners for people who are no more than three years older than them. In practical terms, this means consensual sex between a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old can be legal, while sex between a 16-year-old and a 19-year-old is presumed to be criminal.

Pandering involves all kinds of actions related to prostitution, and sexual imposition describes unwanted sexual contact, from groping to ignoring a person’s request to stop an interaction before engaging in sexual intercourse.

Imposition differs from rape in degree of coercion. Securing a rape conviction generally requires showing that the accused person used force, threats, or drugs and/or alcohol. An imposition conviction can rest on proving that the victim did not consent or was unable to consent. Separate from both of those, sexual battery represents the crime of tricking someone into having sex or sexually abusing a person over whom the perpetrator has control or authority. A doctor who has sex with a patient, for instance, might commit sexual battery.


Anyone Can Be Accused of a Sex Offense

Sex crime investigations and court hearings are almost always difficult for accusers and defendants. Since law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, and jury members cannot assume innocence or guilt, both the initial claims made by the alleged victim and the explanations of events offered by the defendant are subject to close scrutiny. The process can exact a heavy emotional toll because criminal complaints usually arise from events that occur within the context of a long-term, loving relationship. Then, especially when a parent, coach, or teacher stands accused of committing a sexual offense against a child in their care, or when the plaintiff and accuser are both men, legal proceedings, news coverage, and public opinion can turn ugly.


Ask a Columbus Sex Crimes Lawyer for Assistance

Physical evidence for alleged sex offenses is often inconclusive or nonexistent. While this makes a prosecutor’s job harder, it also puts a defendant in a tough position. Relying on a skilled defense attorney who knows the law and has handled several similar cases is often essential to avoiding long jail terms and heavy criminal fines based on just the testimony of an accuser. If you are facing sex crime charges in Columbus, contact Leist Warner to request a free consultation. We cannot take every case, but we welcome each opportunity to answer initial questions from potential clients.

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