What Does “Sexual Imposition” Mean in the State of Ohio?

Ohio law, specifically the Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.06, defines the criminal offense of “Sexual Imposition” as “sexual contact,” i.e., the touching of another person’s erogenous area. Erogenous areas constitute for the thigh, genitals, buttocks, pubic region, or female breast. The charge of “Sexual Imposition” applies in one of the following five circumstances:

What is a “Sexual Imposition” Charge?

(1) The alleged offender knows the sexual touching is offensive to the accuser, or is reckless in that regard;

(2) The alleged offender knows the accuser is substantially impaired by drugs or alcohol and as a result is unable to understand, control or object to the touching. (e.g., This could happen if the accuser has become intoxicated as the result of excessive or binge drinking and/or significant drug use);

(3) The alleged offender knows that the accuser’s ability to appraise the nature of or control the touching is substantially impaired. (e.g., This could happen if the accuser is asleep or passed out);

(4) The accuser is older than 13 but younger than 16 years of age, and the alleged offender is over 18 and 4 or more years older than the accuser; and

(5) The alleged offender is a mental health professional and the accuser is a mental health client or patient, where the alleged offender convinces the accuser to submit to the touching by falsely representing that the sexual contact is necessary for treatment purposes.

Most importantly, the crime of sexual imposition requires evidence other than testimony from the accuser. In fact, Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.06(B) specifically states: “No person shall be convicted of a violation of this section [based] solely upon the victim’s testimony unsupported by other evidence.”

Is “Sexual Imposition” a Felony?

No – In Ohio, the crime of “Sexual Imposition” is a misdemeanor. It is a misdemeanor of the third degree, unless the offender has a prior sex conviction, in which case it is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Recently, our office represented a young man in a surrounding county who was accused of “Sexual Imposition” surrounding an encounter with a former girlfriend, who, after drinking heavily, disappeared with our client into his bedroom. She later claimed that she was too intoxicated to object to extended sexual touching. After meeting with the police and a thorough investigation about what this young lady posted on social media, law enforcement elected not to file criminal charges. This resolution was of critical importance to our client because, even though the crime of “Sexual Imposition” is a misdemeanor, it is a sex offense that requires registration as a sex offender for 15 years. This is a horrible requirement that has completely ruined many persons’ lives.

If you, a friend or relative has been accused of, or is under investigation in Columbus or central Ohio for the offense of “Sexual Imposition,” or for any other sex offense, please contact one of the experienced Columbus criminal defense lawyers for a free initial consultation.

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