In Ohio, charges like rape and even voyeurism have the potential to change your life dramatically. Not only could you be facing prison time and lofty fines, but you could lose the support of friends and family, as well as your job.

Ohio Sex Crimes

The criminal statutes of Ohio are complex and when up against charges like these, you need someone on your side fighting for a positive resolution of your case. While this page provides an overview of some of the sex crimes of Ohio, consulting with a defense lawyer can give you greater insight into your options and how to potentially minimize the effects of the charges on your life.


Rape is defined as engaging in sexual conduct with another person when any of the following circumstances are present:

  1. You substantially impair the other person’s judgment or control by administering a drug or intoxicant for the purpose of preventing resistance,
  2. The other person is less than 13 years of age (statutory rape)
  3. The other person’s ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired by a mental or physical condition, or
  4. You use force or threat of force to gain compliance.

These sex offenses are classified as a first degree felony and can carry a life sentence in certain situations.

Ref: Ohio Revised Code Ch 2907 Sec 02

Sexual Battery

You could be facing sexual battery charges if you commit sexual conduct with another and any of the following circumstances are present:

  1. You knowingly coerce the other person by any means that would prevent resistance by a person of ordinary resolution,
  2. You know that the other person’s ability to consent or control is substantially impaired,
  3. You know that the other person submits because they are unaware the act is being committed or that they mistakenly believe you are their spouse,
  4. You are the other person’s parent, stepparent, guardian, or custodian,  or
  5. You are the other person’s teacher, therapist, clergy, doctor, or another similar relationship role or position of authority.

Sexual battery is classified as a third degree felony. It carries up to 5 years in prison and fines.


Voyeurism is defined as invading the privacy of another, recording or photographing another in a state of undress without their knowledge, or photographing or recording another for the purpose of seeing their body or undergarments without their knowledge or consent.

The penalty you face for a charge like this depends on the facts of the case. It could be classified as up to a 5th degree felony, carrying up to 12 months in prison and fines.

Child Pornography (Illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or performance)

Use, possession, or possession of images of a minor in the state of nudity is a felony under Ohio’s child pornography laws. (Ohio Revised Code Ch 2907 Section 323)

The creation and dissemination of prohibited material is a Second Degree felony, which has penalties of up to 8 years in prison.

“Creation” can include any photography of videography, including via a smartphone or any electronic imaging or video device.

Disseminating prohibited material of a minor in the state of nudity could be via any electronic device, messaging app, social media, or other online sharing application with one other or multiple recipients.

Even a minor child can be charged with this offense for sharing a nude photo of himself or herself, e.g. “sexting”.

Exceptions to the law are allowed for the child’s parents, or for legitimate artistic, educational, medical or other valid reasons.

Just having such material in your possession is a Fifth-degree felony, which has penalties of up to 12 months in jail.

Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a minor

It is a crime under Ohio law to have sex with a person under 16 years old. That includes oral sex, and it still applies if both participants are underage. Unlawful sex

Penalties vary depending upon the age difference of the participants.

  • If the offender is less than 4 years older than the accuser, it is a first degree misdemeanor offense. (up to 6 months in jail)
  • If the offender is 4-10 years older than the accuser, it is a fourth degree felony offense. (up to 18 months in prison)
  • If the offender is 10 or more years older than the accuser, it is a third degree felony offense. (up to 5 years in prison)

Penalties for this charges also include a sex offender registry.

The legal age of consent for sex in Ohio is 16. However, exceptions to the consent laws exist for anyone in “authority” over the minor (under 18), such as a teacher, coach, clergy, administrator, police officer, or other mentoring relationship. Violation of this law falls under Ohio’s Sexual Battery law.

Other Sex Crimes

There are numerous other sex offenses under Ohio law. Criminal sex charges include:

  • Public indecency
  • Unlawful sexual conduct with minor (statutory rape)
  • Gross sexual imposition (GSI)
  • Sexual imposition
  • Importuning
  • Child pornography (Illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or performance)
  • Disseminating matter harmful to juveniles

Any one of these charges could result in prison time, fines, and lasting damage to your life.

If you are charged with a sex crime in the state of Ohio, we can put you in touch with a local defense lawyer that can help you protect your rights and freedom.