Common Sex Crime Charges

Chapter 2907 of the Ohio Revised Code lists nearly 50 different kinds of sex offenses. Alleged offenders who are accused of violating any one of these statutes can face criminal charges, but some crimes are charged more frequently than others.

The classification of an alleged sexual offense depends on numerous factors, and certain crimes carry extremely severe penalties that can include lengthy prison sentences and huge fines. Prosecutors generally take all sex crimes seriously and often pursue the maximum punishments allowed under state law.

Lawyer for Common Sex Crime Charges in Columbus, OH

Were you arrested or do you think that you might be under investigation in Central Ohio for any kind of alleged sex crime? Do not say anything to authorities without legal representation. Contact Joslyn Law Firm as soon as possible for help protecting your rights.

Brian Joslyn is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Columbus who represents clients in communities throughout Franklin County, Licking County, Madison County, Pickaway County, Union County, Delaware County, and Fairfield County. Call (614) 444-1900 right now to have our lawyer review your case and discuss your legal options during a free consultation.


Overview of Common Sex Crime Charges in Ohio


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Common Misdemeanor Sex Crime Charges in Franklin County

Misdemeanor sex offenses are generally less serious violations of state law that are typically punishable by no more than one year in a local jail. Ohio has five degrees of different misdemeanors, and certain sex offenses that are commonly classified as misdemeanors can become felony offenses if the alleged crimes involved certain aggravating factors.

Some of the common misdemeanor sex-related offenses in Ohio include:

  • Sexual Imposition — Under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.06, it is a third-degree misdemeanor for an alleged offender to have sexual contact with another person, not the spouse of the alleged offender; cause another person, not the spouse of the alleged offender, to have sexual contact with the alleged offender; or cause two or more other persons to have sexual contact when the alleged offender knows that the sexual contact is offensive to the other person, or one of the other persons, or is reckless in that regard; the alleged offender knows that the other person's, or one of the other person's, ability to appraise the nature of or control the alleged offender's or touching person's conduct is substantially impaired; the alleged offender knows that the other person, or one of the other persons, submits because of being unaware of the sexual contact; the other person, or one of the other persons, is 13 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age, whether or not the alleged offender knows the age of such person, and the alleged offender is at least 18 years of age and four or more years older than such other person; or the alleged offender is a mental health professional, the other person or one of the other persons is a mental health client or patient of the alleged offender, and the alleged offender induces the other person who is the client or patient to submit by falsely representing to the other person who is the client or patient that the sexual contact is necessary for mental health treatment purposes. If the alleged offender has been previously has been convicted of this offense or of rape, sexual battery, unlawful sexual conduct with minor, or gross sexual imposition, sexual imposition becomes a first-degree misdemeanor.
  • Voyeurism — Ohio Revised Code § 2907.08 makes it a third-degree misdemeanor for an alleged offender to, for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying his or herself, commit trespass or otherwise surreptitiously invade the privacy of another, to spy or eavesdrop upon another. It is a second-degree misdemeanor for an alleged offender to, for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying his or herself, commit trespass or otherwise surreptitiously invade the privacy of another to videotape, film, photograph, or otherwise record the other person in a state of nudity. It is a first-degree misdemeanor for an alleged offender to secretly or surreptitiously videotape, film, photograph, or otherwise record another person under or through the clothing being worn by that other person for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn by, that other person. If an alleged offender, for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying him or herself, commits trespass or otherwise surreptitiously invades the privacy of another to videotape, film, photograph, otherwise record, or spy or eavesdrop upon the other person in a state of nudity if the other person is a minor, this crime becomes a fifth-degree felony.
  • Public Indecency — Under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.09, it is a fourth-degree misdemeanor for an alleged offender to recklessly expose his or her private parts, under circumstances in which the alleged offender’s conduct is likely to be viewed by and affront others who are in his or her physical proximity and who are not members of the alleged offender’s household. If an alleged offender has been previously convicted one time of this offense or if any person who was likely to view and be affronted by the alleged offender's conduct was a minor, the offense becomes a second-degree misdemeanor. If an alleged offender has been previously convicted twice of this offense, the crime becomes a second-degree misdemeanor unless any person who was likely to view and be affronted by the alleged offender's conduct was a minor, in which case the offense becomes a first-degree misdemeanor. If an alleged offender has been previously convicted three or more times of this offense, the crime becomes a first-degree misdemeanor unless any person who was likely to view and be affronted by the alleged offender's conduct was a minor, in which case the offense becomes a fifth-degree felony. If an alleged offender recklessly, under circumstances in which the alleged offender's conduct is likely to be viewed by and affront others who are in the alleged offender's physical proximity and who are not members of the alleged offender's household, engages in sexual conduct or masturbation or engages in conduct that to an ordinary observer would appear to be sexual conduct or masturbation, the crime is a third-degree misdemeanor. If an alleged offender has been previously convicted one time of this offense, the crime becomes a second-degree misdemeanor unless any person who was likely to view and be affronted by the alleged offender's conduct was a minor, in which case the offense becomes a first-degree misdemeanor. If an alleged offender has been previously convicted two or more times of this offense, the crime becomes a first-degree misdemeanor unless any person who was likely to view and be affronted by the alleged offender's conduct was a minor, in which case the offense becomes a fifth-degree felony. If an alleged offender knowingly, under circumstances in which the alleged offender's conduct is likely to be viewed by and affront another person who is a minor, who is not the spouse of the alleged offender, and who resides in the alleged offender's household, engages in masturbation, sexual conduct, or conduct that to an ordinary observer would appear to be sexual conduct or masturbation, the crime is a second-degree misdemeanor. If an alleged offender has been previously convicted once of this crime, a subsequent offense is a first-degree misdemeanor. If an alleged offender has been previously convicted two or more times of this offense, the crime becomes a fifth-degree felony. If an alleged offender knowingly, under circumstances in which the alleged offender's conduct is likely to be viewed by and affront another person who is a minor, who is not the spouse of the alleged offender, and who resides in the alleged offender's household, exposes his or her private parts with the purpose of personal sexual arousal or gratification or to lure the minor into sexual activity, the crime is a first-degree misdemeanor. If an alleged offender has been previously convicted of this offense, the crime becomes a fifth-degree felony. 
  • Procuring Prostitution — Ohio Revised Code § 2907.23 makes it a first-degree misdemeanor for an alleged offender to, knowingly and for gain, procure a prostitute for another to patronize, or take or direct another at the other's request to any place for the purpose of patronizing a prostitute. If the prostitute who is procured, patronized, or otherwise involved in the alleged offense is under 16 years of age at the time of the violation, regardless of whether the alleged offender knows the prostitute's age, the crime becomes a fourth-degree felony. If the prostitute who is procured, patronized, or otherwise involved in the alleged offense is 16 or 17 years of age at the time of the violation, procuring is fifth-degree felony.
  • Solicitation for Prostitution — Under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.23, it is a first-degree misdemeanor for an alleged offender to, knowingly and for gain, entice or solicit another to patronize a prostitute or brothel. 
  • Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles — Ohio Revised Code § 2907.31 makes it a first-degree misdemeanor for an alleged offender to, with knowledge of its character or content, recklessly do any of the following: Directly sell, deliver, furnish, disseminate, provide, exhibit, rent, or present to a juvenile, a group of juveniles, a law enforcement officer posing as a juvenile, or a group of law enforcement officers posing as juveniles any material or performance that is obscene or harmful to juveniles; directly offer or agree to sell, deliver, furnish, disseminate, provide, exhibit, rent, or present to a juvenile, a group of juveniles, a law enforcement officer posing as a juvenile, or a group of law enforcement officers posing as juveniles any material or performance that is obscene or harmful to juveniles; or while in the physical proximity of the juvenile or law enforcement officer posing as a juvenile, allow any juvenile or law enforcement officer posing as a juvenile to review or peruse any material or view any live performance that is harmful to juveniles. If the material or performance involved is obscene, the crime becomes a fourth-degree felony. If the material or performance involved is obscene and the juvenile to whom it is sold, delivered, furnished, disseminated, provided, exhibited, rented, or presented, the juvenile to whom the offer is made or who is the subject of the agreement, or the juvenile who is allowed to review, peruse, or view it is under 13 years of age, the crime becomes a fourth-degree felony.
  • Displaying Matter Harmful to Juveniles — Under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.311, it is a first-degree misdemeanor for an alleged offender who has custody, control, or supervision of a commercial establishment, with knowledge of the character or content of the material involved, to display at the establishment any material that is harmful to juveniles and that is open to view by juveniles as part of the invited general public. Each day during which the alleged offender is in violation of this section constitutes a separate offense. 
  • Deception to Obtain Matter Harmful to Juveniles — Ohio Revised Code § 2907.33 makes it a second-degree misdemeanor for an alleged offender to, for the purpose of enabling a juvenile to obtain any material or gain admission to any performance which is harmful to juveniles, falsely represent that he or she is the parent, guardian, or spouse of such juvenile or furnish such juvenile with any identification or document purporting to show that such juvenile is 18 years of age or over or married.

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Common Felony Sex Crime Charges in Columbus

Felony sex offenses are much more serious than misdemeanors. Convictions can result in far longer terms of imprisonment as well as many other long-term consequences.

Common felony sex crimes in Ohio include:

  • Rape — Under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.02, it is a first-degree felony for an alleged offender to engage in sexual conduct with another person who is not the spouse of the alleged offender or who is the spouse of the alleged offender but is living separate and apart from the alleged offender, when any of the following applies: For the purpose of preventing resistance, the alleged offender substantially impairs the other person's judgment or control by administering any drug, intoxicant, or controlled substance to the other person surreptitiously or by force, threat of force, or deception; the other person is less than 13 years of age, whether or not the alleged offender knows the age of the other person; or the other person's ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age, and the alleged offender knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the other person's ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age. 
  • Sexual Battery — Ohio Revised Code § 2907.03 makes it a third-degree felony for an alleged offender to engage in sexual conduct with another, not the spouse of the alleged offender, when any of the following apply: The alleged offender knowingly coerces the other person to submit by any means that would prevent resistance by a person of ordinary resolution; the alleged offender knows that the other person's ability to appraise the nature of or control the other person's own conduct is substantially impaired; the alleged offender knows that the other person submits because the other person is unaware that the act is being committed; the alleged offender knows that the other person submits because the other person mistakenly identifies the offender as the other person's spouse; the alleged offender is the other person's natural or adoptive parent, or a stepparent, or guardian, custodian, or person in loco parentis of the other person; the other person is in custody of law or a patient in a hospital or other institution, and the alleged offender has supervisory or disciplinary authority over the other person; the alleged offender is a teacher, administrator, coach, or other person in authority employed by or serving in a school for which the state board of education prescribes minimum standards pursuant to state law, the other person is enrolled in or attends that school, and the alleged offender is not enrolled in and does not attend that school; the other person is a minor, the alleged offender is a teacher, administrator, coach, or other person in authority employed by or serving in an institution of higher education, and the other person is enrolled in or attends that institution; the other person is a minor, and the alleged offender is the other person's athletic or other type of coach, is the other person's instructor, is the leader of a scouting troop of which the other person is a member, or is a person with temporary or occasional disciplinary control over the other person; the alleged offender is a mental health professional, the other person is a mental health client or patient of the alleged offender, and the alleged offender induces the other person to submit by falsely representing to the other person that the sexual conduct is necessary for mental health treatment purposes; the other person is confined in a detention facility, and the alleged offender is an employee of that detention facility; the other person is a minor, the alleged offender is a cleric, and the other person is a member of, or attends, the church or congregation served by the cleric; or the other person is a minor, the alleged offender is a peace officer, and the alleged offender is more than two years older than the other person. If the other person is less than 13 years of age, sexual battery is a second-degree felony.
  • Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor — Under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04, it is a fourth-degree felony for an alleged offender who is 18 years of age or older to engage in sexual conduct with another, who is not the spouse of the alleged offender, when the alleged offender knows the other person is 13 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age, or the alleged offender is reckless in that regard. If the alleged offender is less than four years older than the other person, the crime is a first-degree misdemeanor, but if the alleged offender is 10 or more years older than the other person, the crime becomes a third-degree felony. If an alleged offender has been previously convicted of this offense or rape, sexual battery, or unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, then the crime becomes a second-degree felony. 
  • Gross Sexual Imposition — Ohio Revised Code § 2907.05 makes it a fourth-degree felony for an alleged offender to have sexual contact with another, not the spouse of the alleged offender; cause another, not the spouse of the alleged offender, to have sexual contact with the alleged offender; or cause two or more other persons to have sexual contact when any of the following applies: The alleged offender purposely compels the other person, or one of the other persons, to submit by force or threat of force; for the purpose of preventing resistance, the alleged offender substantially impairs the judgment or control of the other person or of one of the other persons by administering any drug, intoxicant, or controlled substance to the other person surreptitiously or by force, threat of force, or deception; the alleged offender knows that the judgment or control of the other person or of one of the other persons is substantially impaired as a result of the influence of any drug or intoxicant administered to the other person with the other person's consent for the purpose of any kind of medical or dental examination, treatment, or surgery; the ability of the other person to resist or consent or the ability of one of the other persons to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age, and the alleged offender knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the ability to resist or consent of the other person or of one of the other persons is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age. If the alleged offender substantially impairs the judgment or control of the other person or one of the other persons by administering any controlled substance to the person surreptitiously or by force, threat of force, or deception, gross sexual imposition becomes a third-degree felony. If an alleged offender has sexual contact with another, not the spouse of the alleged offender; causes another, not the spouse of the alleged offender, to have sexual contact with the alleged offender; or causes two or more other persons to have sexual contact when the other person, or one of the other persons, is less than 13 years of age, whether or not the offender knows the age of that person, or when an alleged offender knowingly touches the genitalia of another, when the touching is not through clothing, the other person is less than 12 years of age, whether or not the alleged offender knows the age of that person, and the touching is done with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, the offense is a third-degree felony.
  • Importuning — Under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.07, it is a third-degree felony for an alleged offender to solicit a person who is less than 13 years of age to engage in sexual activity with the alleged offender, whether or not the alleged offender knows the age of such person, or to solicit another by means of a telecommunications device to engage in sexual activity with the alleged offender when the alleged offender is 18 years of age or older and either the other person is less than 13 years of age, and the alleged offender knows that the other person is less than 13 years of age or is reckless in that regard, or the other person is a law enforcement officer posing as a person who is less than 13 years of age, and the alleged offender believes that the other person is less than 13 years of age or is reckless in that regard. If an alleged offender has been previously convicted of a sexually oriented offense or a child-victim oriented offense, this crime becomes a second-degree felony. It is a fifth-degree felony for an alleged offender to solicit another, not the spouse of the alleged offender, to engage in sexual conduct with the alleged offender, when the alleged offender is 18 years of age or older and four or more years older than the other person, and the other person is 13 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age, whether or not the alleged offender knows the age of the other person; solicit another, not the spouse of the alleged offender, to engage in sexual conduct with the alleged offender, when the alleged offender is 18 years of age or older and four or more years older than the other person, the other person is 16 or 17 years of age and a victim of a violation of trafficking, and the alleged offender knows or has reckless disregard of the age of the other person; or solicit another by means of a telecommunications device to engage in sexual activity with the alleged offender when the alleged offender is 18 years of age or older and either the other person is 13 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age, the alleged offender knows that the other person is 13 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age or is reckless in that regard, and the alleged offender is four or more years older than the other person, or the other person is a law enforcement officer posing as a person who is 13 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age, the offender believes that the other person is 13 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age or is reckless in that regard, and the offender is four or more years older than the age the law enforcement officer assumes in posing as the person who is 13 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age. If an alleged offender has been previously convicted of a sexually oriented offense or a child-victim oriented offense, this crime becomes a fourth-degree felony. 
  • Commercial Sexual Exploitation of a Minor — Ohio Revised Code § 2907.19 makes it a third-degree felony for an alleged offender to knowingly purchase or otherwise obtain advertising space for an advertisement for sexual activity for hire that includes a depiction of a minor.
  • Compelling Prostitution — Under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.21, it is a third-degree felony for an alleged offender to knowingly do any of the following: Compel another to engage in sexual activity for hire; induce, procure, encourage, solicit, request, or otherwise facilitate either a minor to engage in sexual activity for hire, whether or not the offender knows the age of the minor or a person the alleged offender believes to be a minor to engage in sexual activity for hire, whether or not the person is a minor; pay or agree to pay a minor, either directly or through the minor's agent, so that the minor will engage in sexual activity, whether or not the offender knows the age of the minor; pay or agree to pay a person the offender believes to be a minor, either directly or through the person's agent, so that the person will engage in sexual activity, whether or not the person is a minor; pay a minor, either directly or through the minor's agent, for the minor having engaged in sexual activity pursuant to a prior agreement, whether or not the offender knows the age of the minor; pay a person the alleged offender believes to be a minor, either directly or through the person's agent, for the person having engaged in sexual activity pursuant to a prior agreement, whether or not the person is a minor; allow a minor to engage in sexual activity for hire if the person allowing the child to engage in sexual activity for hire is the parent, guardian, custodian, person having custody or control, or person in loco parentis of the minor; or allow a person the alleged offender believes to be a minor to engage in sexual activity for hire if the person allowing the person to engage in sexual activity for hire is the parent, guardian, custodian, person having custody or control, or person in loco parentis of the person the alleged offender believes to be a minor, whether or not the person is a minor. If the person compelled to engage in sexual activity for hire is 16 years of age or older but less than 18 years of age, the crime becomes a second-degree felony. If the person compelled to engage in sexual activity for hire is less than 16 years of age, the crime becomes a first-degree felony. 
  • Promoting Prostitution — Ohio Revised Code § 2907.22 makes it a fourth-degree felony for an alleged offender to knowingly establish, maintain, operate, manage, supervise, control, or have an interest in a brothel or any other enterprise a purpose of which is to facilitate engagement in sexual activity for hire; supervise, manage, or control the activities of a prostitute in engaging in sexual activity for hire; transport another, or cause another to be transported , in order to facilitate the other person's engaging in sexual activity for hire; or for the purpose of violating or facilitating a violation of this section, induce or procure another to engage in sexual activity for hire. If any prostitute in the brothel involved in the offense, or the prostitute whose activities are supervised, managed, or controlled by the alleged offender, or the person transported, induced, or procured by the alleged offender to engage in sexual activity for hire, is a minor, whether or not the alleged offender knows the age of the minor, the crime becomes a third-degree felony.
  • Pandering Obscenity — Under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.32, it is a fifth-degree felony for an alleged offender to, with knowledge of the character of the material or performance involved, do any of the following: Create, reproduce, or publish any obscene material, when the alleged offender knows that the material is to be used for commercial exploitation or will be publicly disseminated or displayed, or when the offender is reckless in that regard; promote or advertise for sale, delivery, or dissemination; sell, deliver, publicly disseminate, publicly display, exhibit, present, rent, or provide; or offer or agree to sell, deliver, publicly disseminate, publicly display, exhibit, present, rent, or provide, any obscene material; create, direct, or produce an obscene performance, when the alleged offender knows that it is to be used for commercial exploitation or will be publicly presented, or when the offender is reckless in that regard; advertise or promote an obscene performance for presentation, or present or participate in presenting an obscene performance, when the performance is presented publicly, or when admission is charged; buy, procure, possess, or control any obscene material with purpose to violate division (A)(2) or (4) of Ohio Revised Code § 2907.32. If the alleged offender has been previously convicted of this offense or disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, the crime becomes a fourth-degree felony. Under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.321, an alleged offender commits the second-degree felony offense of pandering obscenity involving a minor if he or she, with knowledge of the character of the material or performance involved, does any of the following: Creates, reproduces, or publishes any obscene material that has a minor as one of its participants or portrayed observers; promotes or advertises for sale or dissemination; sells, delivers, disseminates, displays, exhibits, presents, rents, or provides; or offers or agrees to sell, deliver, disseminate, display, exhibit, present, rent, or provide, any obscene material that has a minor as one of its participants or portrayed observers; creates, directs, or produces an obscene performance that has a minor as one of its participants; advertises or promotes for presentation, present, or participate in presenting an obscene performance that has a minor as one of its participants; or brings or causes to be brought into Ohio any obscene material that has a minor as one of its participants or portrayed observers. If an alleged offender, with knowledge of the character of the material or performance involved, buys, procures, possesses, or controls any obscene material that has a minor as one of its participants, the crime is a fourth-degree felony although the offense can become a third-degree felony if the alleged offender has been previously convicted of this crime, pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, or illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or performance. 
  • Child Pornography — Depending on the specific activity and material involved, possession of child pornography may be prosecuted as pandering obscenity involving a minor under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.321, pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.322, or illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or performance under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.323. The classifications of the crimes may range from fourth-degree felony offenses to second-degree felony offenses.

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Ohio Resources for Common Sex Crime Charges

Chapter 2907: Sex Offenses | Ohio Revised Code — View the full text of all Ohio statutes relating to sex crimes. The different offenses included in this chapter are listed on the right side of the page so you can click on individual crimes to view the text of just those specific crimes. You can also find definitions for many of the commonly used terms relating to sex offenses.

Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) | Crime Statistics and Crime Reports — Visit this website to find various statistics relating to sex crimes in Ohio. You can find Ohio Incident-Based Reporting System (OIBRS) Crime Research Reports on sexual assault as well as Summary Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) statistics for crimes such as forcible rape. The website also includes statistical breakdowns by quarter and by county.

Ohio Department of Public Safety
1970 West Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43223
(888) 448-4842


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Joslyn Law Firm | Columbus Common Sex Crime Charges Lawyer

If you believe you could be under investigation or you were already arrested for an alleged sexual offense in Central Ohio, it will be in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Joslyn Law Firm aggressively defends clients in Reynoldsburg, Upper Arlington, Westerville, Whitehall, Worthington, Bexley, Dublin, Gahanna, Grove City, Hilliard, and many surrounding areas of Franklin County.

Columbus criminal defense attorney Brian Joslyn has been ranked one of the 10 best criminal defense lawyers in Ohio by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys and nominated as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer in the country by the National Trial Lawyers Association. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (614) 444-1900 or complete an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.


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