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What Is Sexual Battery in Ohio?

Legal Definition of Sexual Battery | § 2907.03

Under Ohio law, a person commits the crime of sexual battery if they engage in sexual conduct with another person (who is not their spouse) when:

  • They know that the other party is impaired and does not have the ability to properly assess the situation or understand the implication of their actions.
  • They know the other party is engaging in the conduct because they do not know the act is being committed.
  • They know the other party submits because they falsely claimed to be their spouse.
  • They are the other party’s parent (biological or adoptive), stepparent, guardian, or custodian.
  • They are in a supervisory or disciplinary role at a hospital or institution and the other person is in the custody of the law or a patient at the facility.
  • They are a teacher, coach, or person in authority that serves in a school and the other party attends the school.
  • They are a mental health professional and the other party is their patient or client, and the alleged offender falsely claims that sexual conduct or acts are a part of their treatment.
  • The other party is a minor and the alleged offender is a peace officer, clergyman, the other party’s coach or instructor, or a person with disciplinary authority over the other party.

The Difference Between Rape and Sexual Battery Charges

As we mentioned, sexual battery involves a lot of different scenarios and actions that involve an alleged offender engaging in sexual conduct with another person in an unjust or unfair manner. Rape, on the other hand, involves having non-consensual sex with another person by using force, threats, coercion, or intimidation (see Ohio Revised Code § 2907.02). Rape also differs from sexual battery in that it is considered a first-degree felony.

Penalties for Sexual Battery in Oho

In Ohio, sexual battery is a third-degree felony unless the other person (the defendant) is under the age of 13. In those cases, the crime is considered a second-degree felony. The penalties for felony convictions in Ohio are as follows.

  • A third-degree felony is punishable by 9 to 60 months of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
  • A second-degree felony is punishable by 2 to 8 years of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $15,000.

Sex Offender Registration in Ohio

If you are convicted of sexual battery, you will be required to register as a sex offender for life, and you are subject to registration and verification requirements every 90 days (for life). Typically, you will receive a “Notice of Registration Duties” form before your release from prison. If you do not comply with your registration or verification duties, you can face additional criminal consequences.

Potential Defenses Against Sexual Battery Charges

To show that it is unlikely you committed the crime and/or establish good character, your attorney may highlight your lack of criminal record, psychological evaluation results, school records, or evidence the supposed victim has made a false allegation. Common defense strategies also include arguing that the sexual conduct was consensual (as long as both parties are legal adults) or that the alleged offender did not use force, threats, or violence.

If you or a loved one have been charged with sexual battery in Ohio, contact the trusted attorneys at Bridges, Jillisky, Weller & Gullifer, LLC. We have decades of collective experience and are dedicated to protecting the rights and freedoms of our clients. Reach out via phone (937) 403-9033 or online today.