Ohio Sex crimes Attorney Joslyn explains Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor and defending these cases in Ohio. Joslyn Criminal Defense Law Firm is experienced with defending people accused of sex offenses involving minors across Ohio. If you or a loved one has been charged with one of these offenses, please call (614) 444-1900 or submit to request a free initial consultation to discuss your case and begin formulating your defense.
Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor charges can be very difficult because often their cases involve people that are very close in age range. As an example, an 18 year old, that just became an adult but is having a sexual relationship with someone else that’s in their same school, but is under the age of consent. They might be in the same classes together, they might have the same studies together. But unfortunately, their sexual contact with each other is illegal. Because of that, there have been some pushes in the legislature to lessen the penalties for some of this conduct. Because otherwise, it would be considered a rape offense. And in some states, this is called statutory rape. It means that the acts were consensual but one of the parties did not have the ability to consent. And under Ohio law, as an example, if there was consensual sex between a 15 year old and a 19 year old, it could technically be classified as a rape offense. Because under Ohio law, if you’re 16, you do not have the ability to consent. This is a hot point between some of my clients that are charged with these offenses. Because they’re coming to me saying “how could I be charged with rape? We did it together”. But Ohio law does not permit that relationship to occur sexually. Now the juvenile that’s involved, that might be under 16, is of absolutely no liability. But the person that is overage, of course, faces these rape charges. if they were better charged, it would be an unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. And our legislature is currently in the process of potentially making it so that those people could expunge otherwise sex offenses that were not expugnable. Because I think people are becoming more understanding that these charges are changing the course of people’s lives, and it’s not needed. So when I’m dealing with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor charges, I’m usually dealing with parents. Parents that are shocked that their child is charged with a sex offense and that I’m telling them that they might have to register as a sex offender for a number of years and that they face the potential for incarceration. And some are bewildered and can’t believe that this is even a circumstance. Some of these are easy to navigate because prosecutors in some circumstances are understanding of the situation, and are more about educating people and making sure that this conduct isn’t prohibited, and are quick to amend, reduce, in some cases even dismiss the cases as long as we’re all on the same mutual understanding. Unfortunately, we still deal with some prosecutors that are hardlined, take hard positions, and are not sympathetic to these arguments, and these cases can become highly contentious, because the parents, sometimes on both sides do not agree with the way that the prosecutor’s offices are handling the case. As they don’t want some of these kids that sometimes have just turned 18, that are sometimes still in high school, potentially facing these life-altering circumstances.