December 2, 2022 | Sex Crimes
Facing statutory rape charges in Ohio is a scary experience, but it’s important to understand that there may be defenses available to you depending on your individual circumstances. If you’ve been charged with statutory rape, the experienced criminal defense attorneys from Suhre & Associates are here to help.
We have successfully defended countless clients facing statutory rape charges, and we know what it takes to win. We’ll review your case and help develop a strategy for fighting the charges and protecting your rights.
What is Statutory Rape in Cincinnati?
Statutory rape is defined as sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 16. In Ohio, this crime is called “unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.” The age of consent in Ohio is 16, which means that no one 18 or older can engage in sexual conduct with someone who is not their spouse and is less than 16 years old.
Penalties For Statutory Rape in Cincinnati
The penalties for statutory rape in Ohio depend on the ages of the defendant and victim and whether the offender has been convicted of certain crimes in the past.
In most other cases, it is a felony in the fourth degree. The potential consequences are between six and 18 months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
However, if you have a prior conviction for rape, sexual battery, or unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, it is a felony in the second degree. Potential penalties include between two and eight years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine.
If you’re convicted of statutory rape, you’ll also have to register as a sex offender.
How Can I Defend Against a Statutory Rape Charge in Ohio?
There are several defenses that can be used against a statutory rape charge in Ohio. The following are some of the most common:
Lack of Knowledge of Age
One of the defenses to statutory rape in Ohio is a lack of knowledge of age. This means that the defendant didn’t know and didn’t have a “reason to know” the victim was underage. The court will look at the totality of the circumstances when determining whether this defense applies.
They will consider many factors, including the victim’s appearance, behavior, and statements made by the victim.
For example, if you met the victim in a location that required identification proving everyone was 18 years or older, this could be used as evidence to show you didn’t know or have a reason to know that they were under 16.
Defendant was Under 18
Another defense to statutory rape in Ohio is if the defendant is under 18, even if tried as an adult. For this defense to be applicable, the defendant must prove that they were under 18 at the time of the incident. This can be done with a copy of your birth certificate or other government-issued ID and will also require evidence of when the incident occurred.
As with any crime, there is always the possibility of a false accusation. If you have been accused of statutory rape, it is important to refrain from speaking to anyone about your case until you have consulted with an attorney. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court. An experienced attorney will know how to investigate these claims and look for holes in the accuser’s story.
Another defense to statutory rape is insufficient evidence. This means that there is not enough evidence to convict you of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Suppose there is weak physical evidence, inconsistent testimony from witnesses, and/or the alleged victim. In that case, your attorney may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed entirely.
Contact a Cincinnati Sex Crimes Lawyer for Help Defending Your Charges
If you have been accused of statutory rape, it is important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible so that you can mount a strong defense. The skilled attorneys at Suhre & Associates have experience handling these types of cases and know what it takes to get results. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Cincinnati
600 Vine Street, Suite 1004
Cincinnati, OH 45202