What is the age of consent for sex in Ohio?

The age of consent for sex in Ohio

The age of consent for sex in Ohio is 16.

If a person is 18 years of age or older, then it is a crime for that person to have sexual conduct (including oral sex) with a person who is under 16 years old.  In such a case (where the accuser is between 13 and 16 years old), the actor is guilty of the crime of “Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor,” in violation of Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.04(A).  Depending on the age of the offender, this offense can be either a first degree misdemeanor (if the offender is less than 4 years older than the accuser); a fourth degree felony (if the offender is less than less than 10 years but 4 years or more older than the accuser); or a third degree felony (if the offender is 10 years or more older than the accuser).  In addition to possible imprisonment, in Ohio there are also sex offender registration requirements.

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Three Major Exceptions

One major exception is if someone is a teacher, administrator, coach, or in another position of authority over the accuser.  If a person is in such a position of authority, and engages in sexual conduct with a minor (defined as under the age of 18 under Ohio law), then the person in authority may be guilty of the crime of “Sexual Battery,” in violation of Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.03(A)(8),(9), and (13).

A second exception, set forth in Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.21(A)(2)(a), is the crime of soliciting a minor for prostitution (called “Compelling Prostitution” under Ohio law) which makes it a third degree felony to solicit a minor (again defined as a person under the age of 18) for sex for hire.  This is a crime regardless of whether the offender knew the accuser was a minor.

A third and final exception, set forth in Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.02(A)(1)(b), arises when the minor is under the age of 13.  In such a situation, regardless of whether the offender knows the other person is under the age of 13, the sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 13 is statutory Rape, a felony of the first degree.

Anyone charged with, or investigated for, the offense of Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor, should immediately hire a criminal defense attorney with solid experience defending against alleged sex crimes, and should never talk with law enforcement without first retaining experienced  legal counsel.

In Summary

To sum up, having sex with a minor, including oral sex, can constitute any of the following crimes:

(1)  the crime of Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor (in violation of Ohio revised Code Section 2907.04(A)) if the offender is 18 years of age or older and the minor is 13 years of age or older but under the age of 16;

(2)  the crime of Sexual Battery (in violation of Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.03(A)(8), (9), or (13)) if the offender is in a position of authority and the minor is under 18 years of age;

(3)  the crime of statutory Rape (a felony of the first degree in violation of Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.02(A)(1)(b)), if the minor is under the age of 13; or

(4)  the crime of soliciting a minor (in violation of Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.21(A)(2)(a)) if the offender solicits a person under the age of 18 to engage in sex for hire.

If you, or any close friend or member of your family have been charged with a criminal offense involving sex with a minor, please feel free to contact an attorney in our office for a free initial consultation. Our Columbus criminal defense attorneys have years of experience and are dedicated to our clients.

Call: (614) 454-5010 Free Consultation

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