FREE CONSULTATIONS (614) 444-1900
Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor Defense

We have a proven track record of success in handling over 15,000 criminal cases and consistently awarded as one of Ohio’s top criminal defense firms. We are highly experienced unlawful sexual conduct with a minor defense lawyers. Experience matters when dealing with these cases, which prosecutors and judges handle differently on a case by case basis. We know what to expect and what to do to get the best result possible.

Begin Your Defense Today: (614) 444-1900 Begin Your Defense Today:
(614) 444-1900

Columbus Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor Defense Lawyer

After an Arrest, a Columbus Statutory Rape Defense Attorney Can Help

The term statutory rape is somewhat misleading. All rape is prohibited by statute, but there is a difference between the Ohio rape statute and the crime commonly referred to as “statutory rape.” Generally, statutory rape is the crime of having sexual intercourse with a person who has not reached the age of legal consent. The age of consent in Ohio is 16, but it may be higher or lower in other states. The “Romeo and Juliet” exception is also written into most statutory rape laws and governs sexual intercourse when neither party has reached the age of consent and/or the age difference between the two parties is negligible. Again, the nature of this exception differs by state. In Ohio, statutory rape is called “unlawful sexual conduct with a minor” and is criminalized by Ohio Code § 2907.04.

Selecting an Experienced Columbus Statutory Rape (Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor) Defense Attorney for Ohio Code § 2907.04 Charges   

Statutory rape charges inherently involve at least one minor party. Criminal proceedings involving juvenile victims are delicate and often governed by a different set of evidentiary and procedural laws. Further, Ohio Code § 2907.04 charges may overlap with a plethora of Ohio sexual crimes, including rape and sexual battery. Defendants facing statutory rape charges in Columbus need an understanding sex crimes defense lawyer with experience handling juvenile sex crimes delicately and professionally. Schedule your free, confidential statutory rape defense consultation with one of the Joslyn Law Firm’s experienced Columbus sex crimes defense lawyers today online or by calling 614-444-1900.

Information Center for Statutory Rape (Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor) Presented by Columbus Sex Crime Defense Lawyers

Statutory rape charges are life-changing, especially for juvenile defendants. Prosecutors may treat unlawful sexual conduct with a minor as a lesser included offense of sexual battery or charge offenders with a separate offense under Ohio Code § 2907.04. There are defenses to statutory rape in Ohio, but the complex age exceptions to sentencing are difficult for even some attorneys to understand. Consult the Joslyn Law Firm’s Columbus Information Center for Statutory Rape (Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor) Charges Under Ohio Code § 2907.04 for an overview of statutory rape and its defenses in Ohio.

  1. Defining Statutory Rape (Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor) in Ohio
  2. How Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor Charges Overlap with Columbus Rape and Sexual Battery Laws
  3. The Legal Elements of Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor & Common Evidence in Statutory Rape Cases
  4. How Ohio Measures Age When Applying the Provisions of Ohio Code § 2907.04
  5. Special Investigations, Procedures, and Evidence in Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor Cases 
  6. Possible Direct Penalties of a Statutory Rape (Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor) Conviction
  7. Possible Indirect Penalties of a Columbus Statutory Rape (Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor) Conviction
  8. Common Defenses to Statutory Rape (Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor) Charges in Columbus
  9. Columbus Statutory Rape (Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor) FAQs
  10. Columbus Statutory Rape and Sexual Assault Resources for Parents and Minors 

Back to top

1.  Defining Statutory Rape (Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor) in Ohio

Ohio’s statutory rape law (Ohio Code § 2907.04) is narrow in scope and limits the crime of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor to adult offenders (over 18) who engage in sexual conduct with a minor over 13 but under 16 years of age if the offender had reason to believe the minor was under 16. Minor defendants (under 18) cannot be charged with statutory rape under Ohio Code § 2907.04 but may be charged with a greater or lesser sex crime as appropriate. Marriage is no longer a defense to statutory rape as marriage to a person under the age of 18 (17 in limited circumstances) is no longer permitted in Ohio. Statutory rape is a fourth-degree felony unless mitigated or aggravated, as provided by Ohio Code § 2907.04. 

Ohio’s “Romeo and Juliet” provision, subsection (B)(2) of Ohio Code § 2907.04, mitigates the offense level applicable to those convicted of statutory rape but is not a complete defense to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor charges in Columbus. If the offender is less than four years older than the victim, statutory rape is a first-degree misdemeanor and not a felony in Ohio. There is a substantial difference between the direct and collateral consequences of misdemeanors and felonies, and Ohio sex crimes defense attorneys should always consider whether the Romeo and Juliet mitigation applies. Statutory rape is a third-degree felony if the offender is more than ten years older than the victim and a second-degree felony if the offender has previously been convicted of a qualifying sexual offense.


Back to top

2.  How Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor Charges Overlap with Columbus Rape and Sexual Battery Laws

The layout of Ohio’s Sex Offense Code (Chapter 2907) provides insight into how lawmakers intended Ohio sex crimes to overlap. Qualifying sex crimes are generally listed in order of seriousness, starting with rape (first-degree felony) and ending with operating adult business without a permit (first-degree misdemeanor). They are also grouped in accordance with the type of crime, i.e., crimes premised upon sexual intercourse, prostitution/pandering, and commercial sexual exploitation and adult business operations. Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor is a crime premised upon sexual intercourse and is one of the first three sex crimes criminalized in Ohio: (1) rape, (2) sexual battery, and (3) unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. A single “act” may be categorized as rape, sexual battery, and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in Ohio. 

For example, it is rape to drug a victim to unconsciousness before engaging in nonconsensual sexual conduct with her/him. It is sexual battery to engage in sexual conduct with an unconscious victim, and it would be unlawful sexual conduct with a minor for an adult to engage in such conduct with a 15-year-old. When an offender necessarily commits a lesser offense (unlawful sexual conduct with a minor) in the course of committing a more serious offense (sexual battery), this is called a lesser included offense.

Offenders cannot be convicted of both the greater and lesser offense. For example, a teacher cannot be convicted of both sexual battery for having intercourse with a 15-year-old student and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor for having intercourse with the same student because being a “minor” is a necessary element of the underlying sexual battery offense. She will be charged with the greater offense, sexual battery, and if the jury fails to convict her on sexual battery charges may be convicted of the lesser included offense of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. However, if being a “minor” is not a necessary element of the greater offense, i.e., rape, then an offender may be convicted of both rape and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. 

Understanding the elements of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in Ohio is essential for understanding Columbus sex crimes charges. Always have an experienced Columbus sex crimes defense lawyer review any sex crimes indictment for potential inaccuracies. A qualified Ohio statutory rape defense attorney may get certain charges dropped as overlapping offenses or negotiate a plea deal to drop felony-level offenses in favor of a lesser-included misdemeanor charge. 


Back to top

3.  The Legal Elements of Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor in Ohio & Common Evidence in Statutory Rape Cases

Columbus prosecutors have the burden of proving every element of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor beyond a reasonable doubt. They must submit admissible evidence establishing each of the following elements of Ohio statutory rape to sustain the charges:

  • The offender is over the age of 18
  • The offender and victim engaged in “sexual conduct” as defined by Ohio law
  • The parties were not spouses (although this is somewhat obsolete, the marriage of minors prior to the 2019 marriage changes may be used to defend against statutory rape charges)
  • The victim was over the age of 13 and under the age of 16
  • At the time of the sexual conduct, the offender either knew or should have known the victim was under 16 or was reckless in that regard, i.e., he never asked or was intentionally avoiding obtaining that information

The most common evidence used to prove these elements includes:

  • Legal identification specifying the age of the parties or, if unavailable, expert medical testimony estimating their age
  • The testimony of the victim and/or voluntary testimony of the defendant as to the nature of the parties relationship and sexual conduct
  • Witness testimony from those with direct knowledge of the parties’ relationship
  • Expert testimony from psychologists and medical professionals to prove sexual conduct occurred
  • DNA and/or rape kit evidence to prove sexual conduct occurred 

It’s often difficult to prove that the defendant knew or should have known that the victim was under 16. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects criminal defendants from being forced to give self-incriminating testimony and prohibits the court from using a defendant’s refusal to testify against him. This means prosecutors often have to use circumstantial evidence to prove that a reasonable person should have known the victim was underage. Examples of circumstantial evidence commonly used in Columbus statutory rape cases include the victim’s: 

  • Social media profiles
  • Youthful appearance, including apparel
  • Status as a high school or middle school student
  • After school activities
  • Direct testimony

At the same time, an experienced Columbus statutory rape defense attorney can use the same circumstantial evidence to prove the defendant didn’t know and shouldn’t have known the victim was underage. Such defensive evidence may include: 

  • The defendant’s testimony that the victim told him she was 16
  • The circumstances of the offense, i.e., the parties meet in a club for those over 18 because the victim had a fake I.D.
  • The victim’s appearance and apparel
  • The victim having a presence on a college campus
  • The victim having a job or driver’s license

Taken together, a reasonable person may have been justified in believing the victim was over the age of 16 under these facts. 


Back to top

4.  How Ohio Measures Age When Applying the Provisions of Ohio Code § 2907.04

The offense level applicable to a statutory rape conviction in Ohio is dependent on the age difference between the parties set forth as follows:

  • Not Punishable as Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor – The defendant is under the age of 18
  • Misdemeanor of the First Degree – The offender is over 18 but is “less than four years older” than the victim.
  • Felony of the Fourth Degree – The offender is over 18 but is less than ten years older than the victim.
  • Felony of the Third Degree – The offender is over 18 and is “ten or more years older” than the victim.
  • Felony of the First Degree (Rape) – The victim is under the age of 13 regardless of the offender’s age. 

While it’s easy to determine if a party is over or under a certain legal age, gauging the legal age difference between the two parties is more complicated. For example, an 18-year-old defendant may be more or less than four years older than a 14-year-old victim depending on the parties’ actual birthdays. There is a major difference between misdemeanor and felony charges in Ohio, so the way the age gap is measured can be central to the defendant’s case.

In Ohio, the common law rule of lenity dictates that ambiguity in a criminal statute must favor the defendant. This means age gaps should be measured relative to the parties’ birthdays and not strict legal age. For example, a victim born on December 31, 2004, and a defendant born on January 1, 2001, are less than four years apart in age despite the fact the victim is 14, and the defendant is 18. Their age difference is three years, 11 months, and 30 days, which is legally less than three years. These calculations may confuse even prosecutors, but an experienced Columbus statutory rape defense attorney will ensure any age gap calculations are performed in the defendant’s favor. 


Back to top

5.  Special Investigations, Procedures, and Evidence in Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor Cases 

The City of Columbus employs teams of sexual assault prosecutors and investigators specially trained to handle sex crimes investigations, especially sex crimes involving minors. Further, Ohio law requires every emergency hospital to provide an on-call sexual assault medical professional to perform rape kit (sexual assault forensic) examinations. These examinations are used to gather and later test for DNA and related evidence of sexual conduct, even consensual sexual conduct. Most Columbus rape kits contain the contact information for the local sexual assault investigation squad and/or Columbus prosecuting attorney assigned to handle statutory rape cases. Rape kits often yield critical evidence of sexual conduct, a necessary element of proof for prosecutors in Ohio statutory rape cases, and contain:  

  • Bags for the victim’s clothing
  • Nail clippers to collect the victim’s fingernails
  • A comb to collect foreign hairs from the victim’s body
  • Swaps and test tubes to obtain foreign DNA evidence
  • Evidence bags, tamper-proof tape, labels, and paperwork to ensure proper storage and handling of evidence 

A forensic examination should occur within three days of the alleged sexual conduct. Rape kits cannot obtain reliable DNA evidence from an alleged offender after that date and may be excluded from consideration at trial on motion for an experienced sex crimes defense lawyer. A qualified Columbus statutory rape defense attorney may argue that, without direct evidence of sexual conduct from a rape kit, prosecutors are unable to prove a necessary element of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

Because statutory rape cases nearly always involve minors, Ohio has special evidentiary procedures and protections in place to minimize the psychological effects of a prosecution. This may include interviewing the minor only via a closed-circuit camera, appointing the minor a guardian ad litem to represent her interests, and/or limiting the type of sexual history and reputational evidence admissible at trial. Those accused of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor should consult with an experienced Ohio statutory rape defense lawyer familiar with the special investigation and trial procedures utilized in Ohio sexual assault cases involving minors. 


Back to top

6.  Possible Direct Penalties of a Statutory Rape (Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor) Conviction

Ohio Code § 2907.04 convictions for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor are punishable based on the age of the parties and/or the defendant’s criminal history:

  • If the offender is over 18 but is “less than four years older” than the victim, statutory rape is a misdemeanor of the first degree. First-degree misdemeanors are punishable by not more than six months imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1,000.
  • If the offender is over 18 but is less than ten years older than the victim, statutory rape is a felony of the fourth degree. Fourth-degree felonies are punishable by up to 18 months (1.5 yrs) imprisonment and/or a fine up to $5,000.
  • If the offender is over 18 and is “ten or more years older” than the victim, statutory rape is a felony of the third degree. Third-degree felonies are punishable by up to five years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • No matter the age of the parties, if the offender has previously been convicted of rape under Ohio Code § 2907.02, sexual battery under Ohio Code § 2907.03, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor (statutory rape) under Ohio Code § 2907.04, or under Ohio Code § 2907.12 (now repealed), statutory rape is a felony in the second degree. Second-degree felonies are punishable by up to 8 years imprisonment and a fine up to $15,000. 

In addition to these direct penalties, Columbus judges will typically (and sometimes must) including the following in a statutory rape sentencing order:

  • Mandatory restitution to the victim for expenses incurred due to the sexual conduct
  • Payment of court and investigation fees
  • Probation
  • Mandatory registration on the Ohio Sexual Offender Registry as a Tier II offender 

Registration on the Ohio Sexual Offender Registry has its own direct consequences, including: 

  • Mandatory appearance on the public registry for at least 25 years
  • Mandatory check-ins with local authorities every six months for 25 years
  • Prohibition on living and/or working within a certain range of qualifying school zones
  • Inability to utilize certain public facilities
  • Public access to the offender’s name, offense, work, home, and/or school address, and other identifying information
  • Law enforcement access to an offender’s emails addresses, screen names, online handles, and phone numbers
  • Loss of certain professional licenses, such as a teaching or daycare licenses

The only way to avoid these life-altering consequences of an Ohio statutory rape conviction is to avoid a conviction altogether with the help of an experienced Columbus statutory rape defense attorney.


Back to top

7.  Possible Indirect Penalties of a Columbus Statutory Rape (Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor) Conviction 

Aside from the consequences associated with registration on the sex offender’s registry, felonious unlawful sexual conduct with a minor carries a certain collateral consequences. These may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Ineligibility for public jobs
  • Loss of all firearms rights for violent felons
  • Loss of certain public benefits
  • Temporary loss of the right to vote
  • Inability to obtain certain recreational licenses
  • Difficulty getting into college or obtaining financial aid
  • Inability to travel outside the state or country
  • Difficulty obtaining a mortgage, loan, or financing
  • Inability to work for most major companies

Sex offenders may face further difficulties after a statutory rape conviction, including:

  • Loss of child custody or ability to foster/adopt
  • Inability to go near school property and attend off-premises school events, even for your child’s activities
  • Ineligibility for certain public programs, housing, and benefits
  • Ineligibility to obtain or loss of certain professional licenses, such as a teaching, law, or medical license
  • Inability to work or volunteer with children or work as a police officer or other public servant
  • Prohibition from certain university and college campuses

Always speak with a qualified Columbus statutory rape criminal defense lawyer about the direct and indirect penalties of a statutory rape conviction before pleading guilty to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in Ohio. Defendants who understand the full breadth of these consequences may elect to proceed to trial rather than accept a plea deal.


Back to top

8.  Common Defenses to Statutory Rape Presented by a Columbus Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor Lawyer

Legal defenses to statutory rape typically fall into three categories: (1) defeating the elements of the offense; (2) procedural and constitutional defenses; and (3) common law (traditional) defenses to criminal conduct. Not every defense is applicable in each case, and a defense may be used to mitigate the consequences of a statutory rape offense if it’s not otherwise applicable as a complete defense to Ohio unlawful sexual conduct with a minor charges. The most common criminal defenses employed by experienced Columbus statutory rape defense lawyers include:

  • Minority (Under 18): Defendants under the age of 18 at the time of the alleged offense may not be charged with statutory rape under Ohio Code § 2907.04. It does not matter if the minor is tried as an adult or what the age difference is between the parties. Section 2907.04 simply does not apply to underage defendants, but this does not mean he/she is not chargeable with a related offense such as rape or sexual battery.
  • Prior Marriage: Ohio changed its marriage laws in early 2019 such that the marriage exception written into § 2907.04 is no longer applicable if the parties were married after the new legislation took effect. This new legislation raised the legal age of marriage in Ohio to 18 with some exceptions for 17-year-olds with parental consent and less than a four-year age difference between the parties. Because the legal age of consent in Ohio is 16, marriage cannot be used as a defense going forward. However, this change does not invalidate marriages that took place before these changes took effect and would not invalidate an otherwise legal marriage that took place in another state or country provided the marriage is not against public policy, i.e., the age difference indicates a “child bride.” The full faith and credit clause of the United States Constitution may be used as a defense to statutory rape charges in Ohio under these circumstances. Marriage is not a defense if there is a separation agreement in place or during an action for annulment, divorce, dissolution of marriage, or legal separation.
  • Lack of Knowledge: A strong defense to statutory rape is arguing that the defendant was not nor should have been aware of the victim’s age at the time of the offense. It is not enough that the defendant truly didn’t know the victim’s age. Instead, the defendant must not have had a “reason to know” the victim was underage. The court will look at the totality of the circumstances surrounding the offense, including what the defendant knew about the victim, i.e., she was in high school, what the victim told the defendant, and what the defendant should have surmised from the facts. Ignorance, i.e., purposefully not asking about age, is not a defense to statutory rape in Ohio. The defendant must make some effort to surmise a victim’s age or have had reason to believe he/she was over 16.
  • Exclusion of Inadmissible Hearsay Evidence: Reports of statutory rape are often filed by parents or guardians of an underage victim or a medical professional (mandatory reporter) who ascertains an underage victim has had sexual contact with another, i.e., pregnancy, STD, pelvic injuries. Victims rarely report statutory rape, and as such, a lot of evidence used to establish the elements of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor is hearsay evidence. Witnesses may testify as to what someone else said, i.e., gossip, about the parties’ sexual conduct and relationship, but this is often inadmissible hearsay evidence. The rules of evidence typically do not permit someone to testify as to what the victim said when the victim is able to testify but refuses to do so. Objecting to inadmissible hearsay evidence in statutory rape cases may prevent Columbus prosecutors from meeting their burden of proof.
  • Lesser Included Offense: As discussed above, statutory rape may be a lesser included offense of another sex crime in Ohio. It must be charged as such in qualifying circumstances.

Even if the evidence does not establish a clear defense to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a defendant’s “good faith” belief the victim was over 16, lack of harm to the victim, and the mutual consent of the parties may be used to mitigate the defendant’s sentence. Only an experienced Columbus unlawful sexual conduct with a minor defense lawyer can determine which defenses are applicable to individual cases.


Back to top

9.  FAQs Answered by a Columbus Statutory Rape and Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor Attorney

 

Below are general answers to the most common questions our experienced Columbus statutory rape attorneys are asked. For questions about a specific case, you must contact the Joslyn Law Firm directly online or by calling 614-444-1900 for a free, confidential statutory rape defense consultation.

  1. What is Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a minor in Ohio?

This is the official title of Ohio’s statutory rape law codified in Ohio Code § 2907.04. Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor is defined as sexual conduct that takes place between two parties when one party is over the age of 18, the other party is 13, 14, or 15, and the adult party had reason to know the other party was under 16. Sexual conduct with an individual under the age of 13 is rape in Ohio. Whether unlawful sexual conduct with a minor is a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the difference in age between the parties. If the parties have less than a four-year age difference, statutory rape is a misdemeanor in Ohio. If they have more than four-year age difference, statutory rape is a felony. An unlawful sexual conduct with a minor conviction requires the offender to register on the Ohio sex offender registry.

  1. What does sexual conduct with a minor mean?

It means you had sex (vaginal, anal, oral, and/or penetration) with someone under the age of 18. Ohio still defines a “minor” as someone under the age of 18, but consensual sexual conduct with a minor is not always illegal if the minor was over the legal age of consent (16).  For purposes of Ohio Code § 2907.04, a minor is defined as someone under the age of 16 but above the age of 13. Anyone under the age of 13 is considered a child in Ohio. Sexual conduct with a child is rape and is a first-degree felony punishable by life imprisonment. Lack of knowledge as to age is never a defense to sexual conduct with a child, but it is a defense to statutory rape.

  1. What is corruption of a minor in Ohio?

Corruption of a minor is an older, alternative name for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor (statutory rape) in Ohio. All three terms – corruption of a minor, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, and statutory rape – refer to the same crime punishable by Ohio Code § 2907.04.

  1. What is considered to be sexual conduct in Ohio?

Sexual conduct” is specifically defined by Ohio law as “vaginal intercourse between a male and female; anal intercourse, fellatio, and cunnilingus between persons regardless of sex; and, without privilege to do so, the insertion, however slight, of any part of the body or any instrument, apparatus, or other object into the vaginal or anal opening of another. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete vaginal or anal intercourse.” Sexual conduct is necessary to sustain statutory rape charges in Ohio. Conduct falling short of “sexual conduct” is not punishable by Ohio Code § 2907.04 but may be punishable as another Ohio sex crime.

  1. What is the age of consent in Ohio?

Sixteen (16). There is no longer a marriage exception to the age of consent in Ohio. No one can legally consent to engage in sexual conduct, as defined above, if he or she is under the age of 16.

  1. Is kissing a minor illegal in Ohio?

Kissing a minor is not statutory rape in Ohio, but it may still be illegal in limited circumstances. This depends on the age difference between the parties, whether the parties consented to the kiss, and the circumstances surrounding the kiss. As a precaution, no one over the age of 18 should kiss someone under the age of 16 even with consent, and no one (whether a minor or adult) should kiss someone under the age of 13. Children cannot legally consent to such contact, and it may be battery in Ohio.

  1. Does Ohio have a “Romeo and Juliet” law?

Generally, yes. Ohio doesn’t have a separate “Romeo and Juliet” statute, but the unlawful sexual conduct with a minor statute does not apply to juvenile offenders (those under 18). Accordingly, if a 15 and 17-year-old engage in consensual sexual conduct, this is not statutory rape in Ohio. Ohio also has a “Romeo and Juliet” provision contained within its statutory rape law located in subsection (B)(2) of Ohio Code § 2907.04. This reduces the level of a statutory rape offense from a fourth-degree felony to a first-degree misdemeanor if there is less than a four-year age difference between the parties, i.e., sexual conduct between a 15-year-old and an 18-year-old.

  1. What are common defenses to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor?

Aside from any available constitutional or procedural defenses to statutory rape, the most common defenses to statutory rape in Ohio include:

  • Minority – the defendant was under the age of 18
  • Marriage – the parties were legally married at the time of the offense and Ohio recognizes the marriage
  • Lack of Knowledge of Age – the offender did not know and had no reason to know the victim was under the age of 16
  • Mental Incapacity – the offender was not able to comprehend the victim’s age or his/her actions due to reduced mental function
  • Lesser Included Offense – Statutory rape is a lesser included offense of a more serious charge and should not be charged and tried separately

The specific defenses applicable to Ohio Code § 2907.04 charges depend on the facts of each individual case.

  1. What should you do if you are arrested for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor?

Do not speak to the police, contact the victim, or discuss the case with potential witnesses. Instead:

  • Invoke your Fifth Amendment right to silence
  • Invoke your Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights to an attorney
  • Stay off of social media – deactivate all profiles but do not destroy any potentially relevant evidence
  • Immediately call an experienced Columbus statutory rape criminal defense attorney at the Joslyn Law Firm at 614-444-1900 or demand to speak with a public defender

Be respectful but vigilant in repeatedly asserting your constitutional rights to silence and a lawyer. Do not contact the victim or his/her family and friends. Maintain a respectful distance and work with your Ohio unlawful sexual conduct with a minor defense attorney to defeat unjustified statutory rape charges in Columbus.


Back to top

10.       Columbus Statutory Rape and Sexual Assault Resources for Parents and Minors

Confronting a parent or doctor about an unexpected pregnancy or medical condition related to a minor’s sexual conduct with another is overwhelming. Teens may fear reproductions from their parents and law enforcement while worrying about potential statutory rape charges against a loved one. Fear of a statutory rape investigation may prevent teens from seeking needed medical, legal, or emotional help and leaving them feeling out of options. The compassionate Columbus statutory rape defense attorneys at the Joslyn Law Firm understand these fears and are sworn to confidentiality during legal defense consultations. The following resources are also available to victims of statutory rape in Ohio: 

A dedicated statutory rape defense lawyer at the Joslyn Law Firm provides a safe party to speak with about your legal concerns. We are able to act as your advocate both inside and outside the courtroom. This may mean referring clients to third-party government or non-profit resources, recommending the court appoint a guardian ad litem as a neutral advocate to represent the full legal interest of a minor (especially a pregnant minor), and working with all involved parties to reduce/drop statutory rape charges and come to a mutually beneficial solution.


Back to top

Consult with a Columbus Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor Attorney Right Away

Whether you have questions about statutory rape in Ohio or have been charged with unlawful sexual conduct with minor in Columbus, contact the Joslyn Law Firm today online or by calling 614-444-1900 for your free, confidential sex crimes defense consultation.


  • Brian Joslyn was named Best Lawyer in 2019 by Birdeye.
  • Columbus CEO magazine has yearly selections for the best attorneys in Columbus Ohio. Brian Joslyn has been identified as one of the most highly skilled attorneys across central Ohio.
  • Brian Joslyn has earned recognition for community leadership by Lawyer LegionLawyer Legion
  • Preeminent Attorney Award. Peer rated for highest level of professional exellence.
  • The Better Business Bureau (BBB), founded in 1912, is a private, nonprofit organization whose self-described mission is to focus on advancing marketplace trust.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

Begin Your
Defense Today
Joslyn Law Firm Group Photo Joslyn Law Firm Group Photo

Use the form below to request your free and confidential consultation with one of our attorneys.