Sexually Oriented Protection Orders

Alleged victims of certain sex crimes can be eligible to seek protection orders against their alleged offenders even if the alleged offenders were never charged with crimes. The alleged victim who files a motion for a Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order (SOOPO) is referred to as the petitioner and the alleged offender who is accused of committing a sexual offense is referred to as the respondent.

While the process of obtaining a SOOPO is similar to obtaining a domestic violence civil protection order, there are also several significant differences. SOOPOs are handled by the general division of the Common Pleas Court in which the alleged victim lives, and while they cannot order respondents to pay spousal or child support or make any rulings on child custody, SOOPOs can still impose a significant number of restrictions on alleged offenders for which violations are punishable by possible jail time and fines.

Lawyer for Sexually Oriented Protection Orders in Columbus, OH

Has another person filed for a SOOPO against you in Central Ohio? You will want to contact Joslyn Law Firm as soon as possible to make sure that you have skilled legal counsel for your court hearing.

Columbus criminal defense attorney Brian Joslyn represents clients accused of various sex crimes all over Franklin County, including Westerville, Reynoldsburg, Hilliard, Whitehall, Worthington, Bexley, Dublin, Grove City, Gahanna, Upper Arlington, and several other nearby areas. Call (614) 444-1900 right now to have our lawyer review your case during a free consultation.


Overview of Sexually Oriented Protection Orders in Ohio


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Definition of Sexually Oriented Offense in Franklin County

Sexually oriented offense is defined under Ohio Revised Code § 2950.01 as any of the following violations or offenses committed by a person, regardless of the person's age:

  • Rape, sexual battery, gross sexual imposition, sexual imposition, importuning, voyeurism, compelling prostitution, promoting prostitution, pandering obscenity, pandering obscenity involving a minor, pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, or illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or performance;
  • Unlawful sexual conduct with minor when the alleged offender is less than four years older than the other person with whom the alleged offender engaged in sexual conduct, the other person did not consent to the sexual conduct, and the alleged offender previously has not been convicted of or pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual conduct, rape, or sexual battery;
  • Unlawful sexual conduct with minor when the alleged offender is at least four years older than the other person with whom the alleged offender engaged in sexual conduct or when the alleged offender is less than four years older than the other person with whom the alleged offender engaged in sexual conduct and the alleged offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual conduct, rape, or sexual battery;
  • Aggravated murder, murder, or felonious assault when the alleged violation was committed with a sexual motivation;
  • Involuntary manslaughter when the alleged offender committed or attempted to commit the felony that is the basis of the alleged violation with a sexual motivation;
  • Menacing by stalking with a sexual motivation;
  • Kidnapping when the offense is committed with a sexual motivation or when the alleged victim of the alleged offense is under 18 years of age and the alleged offender is not a parent of the alleged victim of the offense;
  • Voluntary manslaughter, abduction, unlawful restraint, criminal child enticement, or endangering children with a sexual motivation;
  • Trafficking in persons when the violation is a violation of Ohio Revised Code § 2905.32(A)(1) and the alleged offender knowingly recruited, lured, enticed, isolated, harbored, transported, provided, obtained, or maintained, or knowingly attempted to recruit, lure, entice, isolate, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, or maintain, another person knowing that the person would be compelled to engage in sexual activity for hire, engage in a performance that was obscene, sexually oriented, or nudity oriented, or be a model or participant in the production of material that was obscene, sexually oriented, or nudity oriented; the violation is a violation of Ohio Revised Code § 2905.32(A)(2) and the alleged offender knowingly recruited, lured, enticed, isolated, harbored, transported, provided, obtained, or maintained, or knowingly attempted to recruit, lure, entice, isolate, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, or maintain a person who is less than 16 years of age or is a person with a developmental disability whom the offender knows or has reasonable cause to believe is a person with a developmental disability for any purpose listed in the statute; or the violation is a violation of Ohio Revised Code § 2905.32(A)(3), the alleged offender knowingly recruited, lured, enticed, isolated, harbored, transported, provided, obtained, or maintained, or knowingly attempted to recruit, lure, entice, isolate, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, or maintain a person who is 16 or 17 years of age for any purpose listed in the statute, and the circumstances described in division (A)(5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (12), or (13) of Ohio Revised Code § 2907.03 relating to sexual battery apply with respect to the alleged offender and the other person;
  • A violation of any former Ohio law, any existing or former municipal ordinance or law of another state or the United States, any existing or former law applicable in a military court or in an Indian tribal court, or any existing or former law of any nation other than the United States that is or was substantially equivalent to any offense listed above;
  • Soliciting after positive human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) test; or
  • Any attempt to commit, conspiracy to commit, or complicity in committing any offense listed above.

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Sexually Oriented Protection Order Process in Columbus

When an alleged victim files a petition for a SOOPO, a judge who believes the protection order is necessary for the safety of the petitioner may issue a temporary protection order (also called an ex parte order) that lasts up to 10 days or until the date of the full court hearing. At the full hearing, both the petitioner and the respondent have the opportunity to present evidence, witnesses, and testimony.

If a judge issues a final SOOPO, it can last for up to five years. Some of the specific things that a SOOPO can order an alleged offender to do or not do include, but are not limited to:

  • Prohibit harming or trying to harm, following, threatening, stalking, harassing, or forcing sexual relations;
  • Prohibit all contact with alleged victim;
  • Stay a specified number of feet, yards, blocks, or other distance away from the alleged victim;
  • Prohibit entering the alleged victim’s residence, school, business, or workplace;
  • Complete counseling or substance abuse treatment;
  • Turn over weapons to police and prohibit future firearm access; or
  • Wear an electronic monitoring device.

After a court has issued a SOOPO, the respondent must abide by the terms of the court order. A violation of a protection order is generally a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000, but an alleged violation becomes a fifth-degree felony punishable by up to 12 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500 if an alleged offender has been previously convicted of two or more protection order violations.

If the alleged offender violates a SOOPO while committing a felony offense, the alleged violation is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.


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Ohio Resources for Sexually Oriented Protection Orders

Self-Help Legal Manual for Survivors of Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence and Stalking — View a manual developed by the Ohio Poverty Law Center and the Ohio Domestic Violence Network with the financial assistance of the Ohio State Bar Foundation. Learn more about how sexually oriented offense protection orders can help, how they are enforced if violated, and find answers to frequently asked questions about the protection orders. You can also find a listing of other online resources and various domestic violence and rape crisis programs in Ohio.

Ohio Domestic Violence Network
4807 Evanswood Drive, Suite 201
Columbus, OH 43229
(614) 781-9651

Ohio Poverty Law Center, LLC
555 Buttles Avenue
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 221-7201

Stalking and Sexually Oriented Offenses Protection Order Forms — Visit this section of the Supreme Court of Ohio website to download Civil Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order petitions. You can also download instructions, and all downloads are available in PDF or Microsoft Word formats. The downloads are also available in Arabic, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish.


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Joslyn Law Firm | Columbus Sexually Oriented Protection Orders Lawyer

If you are the respondent in a SOOPO in Central Ohio, it is in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation. Joslyn Law Firm aggressively defends clients in communities throughout Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County, Fairfield County, Franklin County, Union County, and Pickaway County.

Brian Joslyn is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Columbus who has been nominated as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer in the country by the National Trial Lawyers Association and selected one of Central Ohio’s “Top Lawyers” by Columbus CEO Magazine. He can provide a full evaluation of your case when you call (614) 444-1900 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.


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