Mistake of age Defendants accused of statutory rape often claim that they had no reason to know that their partner was underage. Though statutory rape does not require that the prosecutor prove an assault, it is still rape. However, young adults aged 16 and 17 may freely engage in consensual sexual activity with other individuals of their age, 16 and 17 years old, and with an adult over the age of 18, so long as that activity is consensual. But statutory rape laws make it a crime to have sex with any person under the "age of consent. Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles Under Ohio's laws, it is also a crime to share with children any material that is considered obscene or harmful to juveniles. First, a few definitions: Statutory rape does not require any evidence of force or coercion; a person is guilty simply by performing a sexual act with a minor below the age of consent.
A lawyer can often negotiate with the prosecutor for a lesser charge or a reduction in penalties such as, for example, probation instead of prison time ; and will know how prosecutors and judges typically handle cases like yours. They may argue that the victim herself represented that she was older than she was, and that a reasonable person would have believed her. Disseminating harmful material may be a misdemeanor punishable by up to days in jail and a fine or a fifth degree felony. Child Pornography Laws in Ohio In Ohio, it is a crime to create, reproduce, advertise, buy, sell, or possess any obscene material or sexual material involving a minor these crimes are called pandering, obscenity involving a minor, or pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor. Ohio has a specific law against possessing nude images of a child see below. Jessica Logan, an Ohio teen, was harassed and taunted after her ex-boyfriend sent a nude photo of her to students at two local schools. This offense is a misdemeanor if the defendant was fewer than four years older than the victim. In Texas, for example, a minor charged with statutory rape may raise an affirmative defense at trial if the minor is: Supreme Court because they unconstitutionally singled-out gay couples. In other words, if the offender was a juvenile of 15 years old or younger, and the victim was over the age of 10 but under the age of 13, that juvenile offender would receive a punishment, but not a prison term or life in prison. For example, a teen that encourages a friend to take a racy sexual photo could be convicted for child endangerment. Child Endangerment It is also a crime in Ohio to encourage a child be photographed nude or engaging in any sexual activity unless it is for a bona fide educational, religious, or other specified purpose. Should a young adult under the age of 16 but over the age of 13 engage in sexual activity with an adult over the age of 18, and the age gap between the minor and the adult is four years or less, the adult could be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree. Statutory Rape and Age of Consent: The people of Ohio, through their representatives in the Ohio Legislature, have decided that young adults under the age of 16 lack the emotional maturity and social foresight to voluntarily engage in sexual activity and therefore, young adults under the age of 16, and adolescents and children under the age of 13, should receive special protection under Ohio law. These laws, intended to prosecute adult predators, expose teens to serious consequences. In Ohio, registered sex offenders cannot live within 1, feet of schools. Although there have been attempts in Ohio to pass a law specifically targeting teen sexting, lawmakers have so far been unsuccessful. Statutory rape laws are premised on the assumption that minors are incapable of giving informed consent to sexual activities. For example, a boy who uses a cell phone to photograph his girlfriend engaged in consensual sexual activity could be prosecuted for pandering. See a Lawyer If you are facing a statutory rape charge, consider consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney who regularly practices in your area. For example, Ohio Revised Code A Note on Legal Assistance If you or your child is charged with child pornography or any other crime as a result of teen sexting, you should talk to an Ohio criminal defense attorney immediately. There are many common misconceptions about the age of consent and statutory rape; we will explore the laws in their current version as they apply to the people of Ohio. But there are some situations when consensual sex crosses the line and either endangers another's well-being or disrupts the public.
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