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Overview of Ohio’s Sexual Battery Laws


In Ohio, sexual battery refers to unlawful sexual conduct with another person under specific circumstances outlined in the Ohio Revised Code. This conduct encompasses a range of actions, including but not limited to non-consensual sexual intercourse, oral sex, or anal sex. The circumstances under which sexual battery occurs can vary but generally involve situations where the victim is impaired, incapable of giving consent, or where force, threat of force, or coercion is used to compel the act.

For individuals facing charges of sexual battery, a comprehensive understanding of the applicable laws is paramount. By understanding the elements the prosecution must prove to obtain a guilty verdict, defendants are better positioned to develop a strategic defense. Strategizing includes recognizing potential weaknesses in the prosecution's case and identifying opportunities to challenge evidence or testimony presented against them.

Navigating the complexities of a sexual battery case can be daunting. Still, a criminal defense attorney can provide invaluable assistance. These legal professionals are adept at gathering and analyzing evidence, including witness statements, forensic evidence, and expert testimony, to build a robust defense strategy. Additionally, defense lawyers advocate for their clients in court, going up against the prosecutor to challenge their case and protect the defendant's rights. With their insights and experience, defense attorneys strive to pursue just results for their clients, whether through negotiating plea bargains, presenting compelling arguments at trial, or pursuing alternative resolutions.

At Mastandrea Law, LLC, we vigorously represent and defend the accused in Cleveland. Contact us at (216) 306-5105.

Elements of Sexual Battery

Ohio Revised Code §2907.03 concerns sexual battery. The statute outlines the specific actions and circumstances that constitute an offense.

The prosecution must prove certain elements beyond a reasonable doubt to establish a case of sexual battery. One key element is engaging in sexual conduct with another person who is not the spouse of the actor. Additionally, the alleged offender must have acted under particular circumstances defined by law.

Definition of Sexual Conduct

Ohio Revised Code § 2907.01 defines sexual conduct. The definition includes various acts such as male-female vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, oral sex, as well as vaginal or anal penetration with any part of the body or instrument. Understanding this definition is essential for both prosecutors and defense attorneys in determining whether the alleged actions meet the criteria for sexual battery.

Scenario, Degrees, and Consequences of Sexual Battery

Sexual battery occurs under various circumstances.

Below are thirteen situations that constitute sexual battery:

  • Coercion to prevent resistance
  • The other person’s ability to assess the situation is impaired
  • The other person is unaware the act is being committed
  • The other person submits because they mistakenly believe that the actor is their spouse
  • The actor is the other person’s parent, stepparent, guardian, or custodian
  • The actor has supervisory or disciplinary authority over the other person who is in custody of the law or a patient in an institution
  • The actor is a school employee, and the other person is a student
  • The actor is an employee of a higher education institution, and the other person is a minor enrolled in the school
  • The actor is a coach, instructor, or scout leader with temporary disciplinary control over the other person who is a minor and a member of the group
  • The actor is a mental health professional, and they falsely represent to the other person, who is their client, that the sexual conduct is for mental health treatment
  • The actor is an employee of a detention facility in which the other person is housed
  • The actor is a cleric, and the other person is a minor who attends the actor’s service
  • The actor is a peace officer who is more than two years older than the other person who is a minor

Sexual battery offenses are categorized based on severity, with corresponding penalties outlined in the Ohio Revised Code. These offenses include:

  • Third-degree felony offense without any aggravating factors
    • Up to 5 years in prison
    • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • Second-degree felony offense if the other person is less than 13 years of age
    • Up to 12 years in prison
    • Up to $15,000 in fines

A conviction for sexual battery can also lead to sex offender registration requirements, which can have significant long-term consequences for individuals convicted of these offenses.

The Crucial Role of Legal Representation

For individuals facing charges of sexual battery, seeking legal assistance is paramount. The consequences of a conviction can be severe, including imprisonment, hefty fines, and the requirement to register as a sex offender. By retaining a criminal defense attorney, individuals can level the playing field and increase their chances of pursuing a favorable outcome.

Contact Mastandrea Law, LLC at (216) 306-5105 to schedule a consultation and learn how we can assist you in your legal matter in Cleveland.

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