Sex Crime Cases Involving Children

Prosecutors in Ohio generally take all sexual offenses seriously, but they often vigorously pursue the maximum punishments when the alleged victims are children. State law in Ohio often enhances the penalties for certain sex crimes when the victims are minors.

Alleged offenders who are convicted of sex-related offenses involving children not only face the possibility of lengthy prison sentences and enormous fines, but also a multitude of long-term consequences that can dramatically impact their ability to obtain employment, housing, or professional licensing. Innocent people can sometimes find themselves facing these charges as the result of false accusations or misunderstandings about what actually occurred.

Lawyer for Sex Crime Cases Involving Children in Columbus, OH

If you think that you might be under investigation or you were already arrested in Central Ohio for an alleged sex crime involving a child, it will be in your best interest to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Joslyn Law Firm defends clients in Upper Arlington, Westerville, Reynoldsburg, Hilliard, Whitehall, Worthington, Bexley, Dublin, Grove City, Gahanna, and surrounding areas of Franklin County.

Brian Joslyn is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Columbus who 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 when you call (614) 444-1900 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.


Ohio Sex Crime Cases Involving Children Information Center


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Aggravated Charges for Sex Crime Cases Involving Children in Franklin County

Most sexual offenses without any aggravating factors in Ohio still carry severe penalties. When the alleged victim of a sex-related crime is a minor, the classification of certain offenses can change and alleged offenders can face much harsher sentences if convicted.

Some of the sex crimes that can see the penalties enhanced if the victims are children include:

  • Sexual Battery — Ordinarily a third-degree felony under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.03, sexual battery becomes a second-degree felony punishable by up to eight years in prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000 if an alleged victim is less than 13 years of age. 
  • Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor — Ordinarily a fourth-degree felony under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04 when an alleged offender who is 18 years of age or older engages in sexual conduct with another person, who is not the spouse of the alleged offender, he or she knows is 13 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor becomes a third-degree felony punishable by up to 60 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000 if the alleged offender is 10 or more years older than the other person. If the alleged offender engages in sexual conduct with another person who is less than 13 years of age, the crime becomes the first-degree felony offense of rape under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.04 punishable by up to 11 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000.
  • Gross Sexual Imposition — Ordinarily a fourth-degree felony under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.05, gross sexual imposition becomes a third-degree felony punishable by up to 60 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000 if an alleged victim 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. 
  • Compelling Prostitution — Ordinarily a third-degree felony under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.21, compelling prostitution becomes a second-degree felony punishable by up to eight years in prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000 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. If the alleged victim is less than 16 years of age, then the offense is classified as a first-degree felony punishable by up to 11 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000.
  • Voyeurism — Ordinarily a misdemeanor offense under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.08, voyeurism becomes a fifth-degree felony punishable by up to 12 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,5000 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 and the alleged victim is a minor. 
  • Public Indecency — Ordinarily a fourth-degree misdemeanor under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.09, public indecency becomes a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000 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.
  • Procuring Prostitution — Ordinarily a first-degree misdemeanor under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.23, procuring prostitution becomes a fifth-degree felony punishable by up to 12 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500 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. 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 is classified as a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000. 
  • Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles — Ordinarily a first-degree misdemeanor under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.31, disseminating matter harmful to juveniles becomes a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000 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.

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Statute of Limitations for Sex Crime Cases Involving Children in Columbus

Under Ohio Revised Code § 2901.13, the traditional statute of limitations for commencing prosecution of misdemeanor offenses is two years and six years for felony offenses. The same statute, however, also establishes longer statutes of limitations for certain sexual offenses.

Prosecution of any of the following offenses can be commenced within 20 years after the offense is committed:

  • Unlawful sexual conduct with minor;
  • Gross sexual imposition; and
  • Compelling prostitution.

Prosecution of a violation, a conspiracy to commit, attempt to commit, or complicity in committing any of the following offenses can be commenced within 25 years after the offense is committed:

  • Sexual assault.

Additionally, Ohio Revised Code § 2901.13(D) establishes that if a DNA record made in connection with the criminal investigation of the commission of a rape or sexual assault is determined to match another DNA record that is of an identifiable person and if the time of the determination is later than 25 years after the alleged offense is committed, prosecution of that person may be commenced within five years after the determination is complete. If the determination is within 25 years after the offense is committed, prosecution of the alleged offender may be commenced within the longer of 25 years after the offense is committed or five years after the determination is complete.


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Ohio Sex Crime Cases Involving Children Resources

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine | Crimes Against Children — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine launched the Crimes Against Children Initiative in 2011. Investigators, prosecutors, victim advocates, and law enforcement trainers focus on identifying, arresting, and convicting people who prey on children through sexual and other forms of abuse, child pornography, solicitation of minors, and similar crimes. Visit this website to learn more about the initiative.

Ohio Attorney General
30 E. Broad St., 14th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 466-4986

Sexting | A civil liberties briefing from the ACLU of Ohio — Taking, sending, receiving, or displaying nude images via cell phone, email, or other online communication is commonly referred to as “sexting,” and such communications become criminal offenses when the images involve minors. You can learn more about Ohio’s laws regarding sexting in this ACLU fact sheet. It is important to note that minors can also face criminal charges for sexting.


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Joslyn Law Firm | Columbus Sex Crime Cases Involving Children Lawyer

Were you arrested or do you believe that you could be under investigation for an alleged sexual offense involving a minor in Central Ohio? Do not make any kind of statement to authorities until you have first contacted Joslyn Law Firm.

Columbus criminal defense attorney Brian Joslyn represents clients all over Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County, Fairfield County, Franklin County, and Union County. Call (614) 444-1900 or complete an online contact form right now to schedule a free consultation that will let our lawyer review your case and answer all of your legal questions.


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