Dayton Sex Crime Defense Lawyers
Dayton Sex Crime Lawyers Fighting Sex Crime Charges
Thousands of clients across Ohio have handled their criminal matters by going with Joslyn Law Firm, who is an award-winning criminal defense law firm focused on effectively defending you against accusations of sex crimes or other criminal offenses in Dayton. When you go with Joslyn Law Firm, you get a team of skilled and experienced sex crime attorneys in your corner. You get a firm who has been awarded as one of the state’s best criminal defense law firms, with head attorney Brian Joslyn awarded as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer. Don’t lose hope if you have been charged with a sex offense. We know what it takes to protect you against these accusations. We will fight for you.
Critically, if you are charged with a sex offense in Dayton, you’ll want an attorney who knows a lot about sex crimes, including how to manage the situation effectively when dealing with different types of prosecutors and judges. Thankfully, Joslyn Law Firm’s sex crime attorneys know this arena and have experience defending clients in cases involving rape, sexual battery, and other types of unlawful sexual activity.
Consider the harsh consequences of getting convicted for something you didn’t do. You could go to jail for a long time. Sex crimes are some of the most serious offenses in the state of Ohio. Aggressive prosecutors will not hold back in trying to get you convicted regardless of whether you face a minor sex offense or are charged with a violent rape.
The dedicated criminal defense lawyers at Joslyn Law Firm represent those in Ohio facing criminal charges including sex offenses. You deserve a powerful defense to such strong allegations especially given the consequences. We know what is at stake in these cases, including how the accusations alone can carry a serious stigma and wreak havoc upon your life. Most importantly, we know how to attack the state’s theory of your guilt. So, if you have been charged with a sex offense in Dayton, get in touch with us by calling (937) 356-3969 or by contacting us online to discuss how we can help.
Experienced Sex Crime Attorneys in Dayton
Anyone accused of a sex offense in Dayton quickly learns that “innocent until proven guilty” does not always apply, especially in the court of public opinion. The Duke Lacrosse Scandal is merely one example of how the accusation alone can change your life. Those accused of committing a sex offense in Dayton are entitled to the same constitutional and procedural protections applicable to all criminal defendants in Ohio. This includes the right to confront witnesses, the right to remain silent, and the right to have an experienced Dayton sex crimes defense lawyer on your side from investigation to appeal. Contrary to public opinion, you are innocent of an Ohio sex crime until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Sex crimes are more troubling than most crimes in Ohio. Just the news of your arrest, and the charges showing up on your record, can possibly derail your life and ruin your reputation. A conviction obviously makes the situation much worse as it could involve a harsh penalty including a long-term prison sentence, fines, and mandatory sex offender registration potentially for life. The moment that you are suspected of committing a sex crime, you can count on the police trying to get you to talk – and for the prosecutor to get out the gloves to bring the charges.
You already know that this type of charge can take an extreme toll on your life as you know it. Your freedom, family, friends, and career could all be severely affected. For this reason, you will want to touch base with a criminal defense attorney, who is someone that can carefully review your criminal charges, hear your side of the story, and provide you with essential guidance and direction.
Joslyn Law Firm concentrates on defending people against Ohio sex crimes. Led by an experienced and highly respected trial lawyer, the firm is able to protect your rights and defend you from these charges just as we have done for many in Ohio. We will treat you with compassion and respect in the attorney-client relationship and work diligently to help ensure that you get a fair and proper resolution to your matter.
After evaluating your case and helping you understand your legal options, we can chart the best path forward for you. Remember that you are in a difficult situation right now, not an impossible one. In order to build a strong defense to the sex crime accusations brought against you, it is important that you consult with us sooner rather than later. For a free case evaluation with one of the knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers at Joslyn Law Firm, call (937) 356-3969 or contact us online.
Dayton Sex Crimes Information Center
- Overview Of Sex Crimes In Dayton
- What Is Considered A Sex Crime In Dayton?
- Common Sex Crime Charges In Dayton
- Child Pornography
- Other Sex Crime Cases Involving Children In Dayton
- Investigations Of Sex Crimes In Dayton
- Sex Crime Allegations And Filed Charges In Dayton
- Special Investigators And Prosecutors For Sex Crimes In Dayton
- Evidence Of Sex Crimes In Dayton
- The Ohio Criminal Court Process For Sex Crimes In Dayton
- Possible Defenses Against Sex Crimes In Dayton
- Possible Penalties For Sex Crime Convictions In Dayton
- Sex Offender Registration In Dayton
- Collateral Consequences Of A Sex Crime Conviction In Dayton
- Resources Regarding Sex Crimes In Dayton
- Sexually Oriented Protection Orders And Victims’ Rights In Sex Offense Cases In Dayton
- FAQ About Sex Offenses In Dayton
- Dayton Sex Crimes Criminal Defense Lawyer
In Ohio, sex crimes are listed in the Ohio Code. These offenses mainly concern a form of conduct or contact that is sexually offensive. When people think of a sex crime, they often jump to rape. And while rape is the most serious sex offense, there are several other sex crimes that can still be heavily punished through stiff prison terms, heavy fines, and requirements to be a registered sex offender. Many sex offenses in Ohio have involved defendants being accused by people who they work with, or a friend or family member. It is not just strangers who are accused of these crimes.
Sex offenders in Ohio fall into three groups depending on the severity of the sex offense: Tier 1 (register each year for 15 years); Tier 2 (register twice each year for 25 years); and Tier III (register four times each year for the rest of your life).
So, while serving a prison sentence and paying a fine is bad enough if convicted, the requirement to be a sex offender can be devastating because this can follow you around for life. If the public has access to information about your sex offenses, then this could permanently damage your relationships, career, and even your ability to live in certain locations. For this reason, you’ll want to have a defense lawyer in your corner who is keen on sex crimes in Ohio and who is prepared to fight these charges so that you can avoid a calamity.
Ohio makes clear in the Ohio Code what is considered a sex crime, so anything that falls outside of those stated laws is arguably not considered one – at least in the state. For you to commit a sex crime in Ohio, you generally have to engage in sexually offensive conduct or sexual contact. Here’s more on what that means.
What Is Unlawful Sexual Contact?
Under Ohio Law, sexual contact means that without someone’s consent, you touch their erogenous zone (e.g. thigh, genitals, buttock, pubic region, breast) for purposes of your or their sexual arousal or sexual gratification. It doesn’t matter how brief the touching is, or whether the touched person has clothing. So, if someone didn’t want you to touch them, and you touched them in the wrong area, you could be charged with a sex crime.
What Is Unlawful Sexual Conduct?
Under Ohio law, unlawful sexual conduct generally means that you and someone else engage in non-consensual vaginal intercourse (sex), anal intercourse, fellatio, or cunnilingus. You also commit unlawful sexual conduct if you insert something (e.g. a dildo) into someone’s vagina or anal opening. It doesn’t matter how slight or seemingly significant the penetration is. If there is any penetration at all, then Ohio law considers this intercourse for purposes of criminal prosecution.
What Is Sexual Activity?
Ohio law considers sexual activity to be either sexual contact or sexual conduct. So, if you touch someone’s leg, you engage in sexual activity. If you have any type of sex with them, then this means sexual activity. Keep in mind that with some sex offenses, what makes the act illegal is conduct, whereas with other sex offenses, what makes the act illegal is contact. As an example, you commit rape in Ohio by way of your sexual conduct, and you commit gross sexual imposition by way of your sexual contact
Rape (Ohio Code § 2907.02)
What Ohio Law Considers Rape
Rape is the most serious sex offense in Ohio. Basically, to commit rape, you have sexual conduct with someone who is not your spouse, and one of the following applies:
- To prevent the alleged victim from resisting, you substantially impair their control or judgement through giving them an intoxicant, drug, or a controlled substance (e.g. date rape)
- The alleged victim is under the age of 13 regardless of whether you know that at the time
- The alleged victim is unable to consent or resist because they suffer from a physical or mental condition or old age, and you know or have a reason to believe that the alleged victim is impaired because of this reason
Rape also means having sexual conduct with the alleged victim (who could be your spouse) by purposely forcing them to submit (not show restraint), or by threatening to hurt them. These charges necessitate a true understanding of the law and a complete rape defense strategy.
Punishment For Rape
Rape is a first-degree felony. This means that in Ohio, you face anywhere from three years to life in prison without any possibility of parole, and a fine of up to $20,000. Keep in mind that it is possible for a mandatory life sentence to be imposed by a judge in Dayton if you are found to have violently raped a child (someone under the age of 10). The mandatory life sentence could also apply to situations where the alleged victim is physically harmed or where you have prior sex offense convictions on your record.
Basically, statutory rape is where you have sex with a minor, and at the time you are at least 18 years old, and the minor is 13-15 years old. This is considered rape because of a minor’s inability to consent. As long as you are less than four years older than the alleged victim, then the offense could be charged as a fist-degree misdemeanor in which you face a potential maximum one-year jail sentence and $1,000 fine. Notably, it is possible for this offense to be charged as a fourth-degree felony if you are four years older than the alleged victim. You face a potential third-degree felony charge if you are at least ten years older than them. There are several defenses to Unlawful Sexual to a Minor charges that an experienced attorney can explore before or after charges have been filed.
What Ohio Law Considers Sexual Battery
To commit sexual battery in Ohio, you have sexual conduct with someone who is not your spouse, and one of the following applies:
- You knowingly force the alleged victim to submit to you by preventing their resistance
- You know that the alleged victim’s ability to control themselves is substantially impaired
- You know that the alleged victim submits because they are unaware of your actions
- You know that the alleged victim submits because they mistakenly believe you to be their spouse
- You are the person’s parent, stepparent, custodian, or guardian
- You have supervisory or disciplinary authority over the alleged victim, and they are either in custody or are a patient
- You are an administrator, teacher, or other person employed in a school system, and the victim is a student
- You are an administrator, teacher, coach, or another person who works in an institution of higher education, and the alleged victim is a minor who attends that institution
- You are the alleged victim’s athletics coach or instructor, and they are a minor
- You are a mental health professional, and the alleged victim is your patient or client
- You work at a detention center and the alleged victim is confined
- You are a cleric, and the alleged victim is a member of the congregation
- You are a police officer, the alleged victim is a minor, and you are more than two years older than them
Punishment For Sexual Battery
Sexual battery could be charged as a third-degree felony or a second-degree felony depending on the circumstances. So, if you are convicted of a third-degree felony, you face a potential five-year prison sentence and $10,000 fine. But if you are convicted of a second-degree felony, then you face an eight-year prison sentence and $15,000 fine.
In Ohio, you commit sexual imposition by making sexual contact with someone who is not your spouse, or have someone else make sexual contact with them, in one of the following circumstances:
- You know (or are reckless in not knowing) that the alleged victim finds the sexual contact to be offensive
- You know that the alleged victim’s ability to control themselves is substantially impaired
- You know that the alleged victim is unaware of the sexual contact
- You are at least 18 years old; you are four or more years older than the alleged victim; and the alleged victim is between 13-15 years old regardless of whether you know that
- You are a mental health professional, and the alleged victim is your patient or client
Punishment For Sexual imposition
The offense of sexual imposition in Ohio could be charged as a third-degree misdemeanor up to a first-degree misdemeanor. Typically, first-degree misdemeanor charges come as a result of you previously pleading guilty or being convicted of a sex offense whether it be sexual imposition or another offense.
It is unlawful for you to make sexual contact with someone who is not your spouse, or for you to cause someone else to do this, when one of the following circumstances apply:
- To prevent the alleged victim from resisting, you use force or threaten to use force against them
- To prevent the alleged victim from resisting, you substantially impair their control or judgement through giving them an intoxicant, drug, or a controlled substance, and you use force or threaten to use force against them, or otherwise deceive them to accomplish this
- The alleged victim is unable to control themselves because they have been administered an intoxicant or drug in connection with medical treatment, surgery, or an examination, and you know or have a reason to believe that the alleged victim is impaired because of this
- The alleged victim is under the age of 13 whether you know that or not
- The alleged victim is unable to consent or resist because they suffer from a physical or mental condition or because of old age, and you know or have a reason to believe that the alleged victim is impaired because of this
- You touch the genitalia of the alleged victim (whether or not through clothing), and the alleged victim is under the age of 12, where you touch them for purposes of sexual gratification or arousal, or to degrade, harass, humiliate, or abuse them
Punishment For Gross Sexual imposition
It is possible for you to face a third-degree felony charge of gross sexual imposition to the extent that the victim is under the age of 13 or where you acted violently. The other types of gross sexual imposition are generally charged as a fourth-degree felony.
It is against the law in Ohio for you to solicit someone for sexual activity or conduct if:
- You solicit someone who is under the age of 13 for purposes of them engaging in any type of sexual activity with you regardless of whether you know the victim’s age or not
- You solicit a 13–15-year-old who is not your spouse to engage in sexual conduct with you, and you are 18 years old and four years older than the alleged victim
- You solicit a 16–17-year-old sex trafficking victim to engage in sexual conduct with you, and you are 18 years old and four years older than the alleged victim
- You are 18 years old and use a phone or computer to engage in some form of sexual activity with the alleged victim, and either the alleged victim is under the age of 13 (you know this or are reckless in not knowing), or the other person is a police officer who is posing as a child under the age of 13
- You are 18 years old (at least four years older than the alleged victim) and use a phone or computer to engage in some form of sexual activity with the alleged victim, and either the alleged victim is 13-15 years old (you know this), or is an undercover police officer posing as a 13–15-year-old
Punishment For Importuning
Depending on the circumstances, in Ohio, importuning can be charged as a third-degree felony in which a mandatory prison term is imposed (e.g. you solicit a 12-year-old for sex). However, if you have been convicted or have pled guilty to other sex offenses, then it is possible for you to be charged with a second-degree felony. In less serious cases, importuning might be charged as a fifth-degree felony.
Voyeurism (Ohio Code § 2907.08)
In Ohio, you commit voyeurism in the following circumstances:
- For purposes of getting sexual gratification or arousal, you invade someone’s privacy to film, photograph, or videotape them while they are nude
- For purposes of getting sexual gratification or arousal, you invade someone’s privacy to spy or eavesdrop on them when they are nude
- You secretively photograph, film, or videotape someone so that you can view their body or undergarments.
Punishment For Voyeurism
Depending on the circumstances, you could be charged with a third-degree misdemeanor or a fifth-degree felony. Ohio considers spying or eavesdropping on a nude minor to be a fifth-degree felony. Otherwise, you might be looking at a third-degree misdemeanor.
You commit public indecency in Ohio when you are likely to be viewed in public by others in your proximity who are not part of your household at which time you recklessly do one of the following things:
- Expose your private parts
- Masturbate or engage in some form of sexual conduct
- Do something that appears to involve masturbating or engaging in a sexual act
You could also commit public indecency when you are likely to be viewed in public by a minor who isn’t your spouse, and you knowingly do one of the following things:
- Engage in sexual conduct
- Do something that seems like it involves masturbation or sexual conduct
- Expose your private parts to get sexually aroused or gratified, or to induce a minor into engaging in a sexual activity
Punishment For Public Indecency
Normally, public indecency is a fourth-degree misdemeanor, but it can be charged as a fifth-degree felony to the extent that a minor is involved.
Commercial Sexual Exploitation Of A Minor (Ohio Code § 2907.19)
To be found guilty of commercial sexual exploitation, the following applies:
- You knowingly buy or obtain advertising space for purposes of an advertisement relating to hiring someone for sexual activity when the advertisement depicts a minor
Basically, an advertisement that relates to sexual activity for hire is one that is in print or electronic form, and the sexual activity is intended to occur in Ohio. The state considers a depiction to mean a film, videotape, photograph, or any type of printed or visual material.
Punishment For Sexual Exploitation Of A Minor
You could be charged with a third-degree felony if you sexually exploit a minor. Critically, in Ohio, it doesn’t matter if you failed to know that the person who is depicted in the advertisement was a minor. It is normally no defense to rely upon a written or oral representation of the person as to their age.
Sex Trafficking (Human Trafficking, Compelling Prostitution)
In Ohio, you are compelling prostitution in the following circumstances:
- You force or compel someone (overcome their will through force, duress, fear, or intimidation) to engage in sexual activity for hire (e.g. prostitution)
- You induce, solicit, encourage, request, or somehow facilitate sexual activity for hire by a minor (regardless of whether you know their age) or someone who you believe to be a minor
- You pay or agree to make payment to a minor or someone who you believe is a minor for purposes of the minor engaging in sexual activity
- You pay a minor or someone who you believe is a minor because of them having sexual activity in connection with an agreement
- You allow someone who you believe is a minor to engage in sexual activity for hire, and you are that person’s parent, guardian, or custodian
Punishment For Compelling Prostitution
At minimum, you face a third-degree felony charge of compelling prostitution if any of the above circumstances occur. If the alleged victim is 16-17 years old, then the offense could be classified as a second-degree felony. And if the alleged victim is under the age of 16, then you face a first-degree felony charge.
Promoting Prostitution (Ohio Code § 2907.22)
In Ohio, you promote prostitution in the following ways:
- You create, maintain, manage, operate, control, supervise or have some form of interest in any business such as a brothel which is meant for people to engage in sexual activity
- You manage, supervise, or control a prostitute’s activities as they relate to sexual activity for hire
- You transport someone for purposes of facilitating their sexual activity for hire
- You induce someone into engaging in sexual activity for hire
Punishment For Promoting Prostitution
Normally, promoting prostitution is a fourth-degree felony. However, it could be a third-degree felony if the prostitute is a minor regardless of whether you know their age. You also face a third-degree felony charge if you have formerly pleaded guilty to promoting prostitution or another sex offense.
In Ohio, you solicit prostitution in the following circumstances:
- You ask or solicit someone to use the prostitute’s or brothel’s services
- You get a prostitute for someone else, or you act on someone’s request to take you to a place where they can get a prostitute
- You allow your property to be used for sexual activity for hire (e.g. you run a brothel).
Punishment For Soliciting Prostitution
Procuring prostitution is typically a first-degree misdemeanor. But if the prostitute is under the age of sixteen, then the charge could be elevated to a fourth-degree felony. If the prostitute is 16-17 years old, this offense could be charged as a fifth-degree felony.
Engaging In Prostitution (Ohio Code § 2907.22)
You commit prostitution if one of the following happens:
- You either implicitly or explicitly agree to engage in sexual activity in return for value (e.g. money from the person who you have sex with; money from someone who is trafficking you such as a pimp)
- You recklessly entice or induce someone into engaging in sexual activity for hire in exchange for something of value (e.g. you beg a prostitute to have sex with you)
Punishment For Engaging In Prostitution
Engaging in prostitution is a first-degree misdemeanor. If you are convicted, then aside from the possible $1,500 fine, you could be required to attend a treatment or education program which is focused on preventing people from engaging in prostitution.
Adult pornography is protected by the constitution, but possession, production or distribution of child pornography is totally illegal. According to the federal government, there is a large interstate market for child pornography. The government describes a multimillion-dollar industry in which a network operated across the nation advertise their intentions of exploiting children for purposes of child pornography. The internet is what fosters most of this. Critically, because of how children are involved and are exploited for sexual purposes, prosecutors often shoot for the maximum punishments against the accused.
It is unlawful under both Ohio law and federal law to possess, produce or distribute child pornography. If you engage in this activity, then depending on the circumstances, you could be charged with a fourth-degree felony up to a second-degree felony. To the extent that the federal government brings charges, they do so in federal criminal court. Otherwise, Ohio prosecutors bring charges based on state law. Here’s more on Ohio’s child pornography laws:
Pandering Obscenity Involving A Minor Or Impaired Person
It is unlawful for you to knowingly:
- Create, publish, or reproduce obscene material that involves a minor
- Promote, advertise, present, display, sell or provide any obscene material that involves a minor
- Create, produce, or direct an obscene performance involving a minor
- Promote or advertise a presentation in which a minor is involved in an obscene performance
- Buy, control, or possess any obscene material involving a minor
Generally, pandering obscenity involving a minor or impaired person is considered a second-degree felony offense if it involves a minor, and it is a third-degree felony offense if it involves an impaired person. If your only activity was knowingly buying or possessing obscene material involving a minor, then the offense is chargeable as a third-degree felony.
You violate the law in Ohio if you knowingly:
- Create, publish, record, photograph or reproduce material involving a minor or impaired person’s engagement in masturbation or another form of sexual activity
- Promote, advertise, display, or sell any material involving a minor who is engaging in sexual activity or masturbation
- Create, produce, or direct a performance in which a minor is seemingly taking part in masturbation or a sexual activity
- Promote or advertise a presentation in which a minor is involved in a sexual activity or masturbation
- Solicit, receive, purchase, exchange, or control material showing masturbation, sexual activity, or bestiality
- Bring material into Ohio that shows a minor or impaired person taking part in sexual activity or masturbation
- Finance a minor’s engagement in sexual activity for purposes of a performance or for generating material that shows the person engaging in sexual activity
Typically, pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor or an impaired person is a second-degree felony if it involves a minor, and a third-degree felony if it involves an impaired person. Merely buying, controlling, or possessing the materials is a fourth-degree felony.
Illegal Use Of Minor Or Impaired Person In Nudity-Oriented Material Or Performance
Generally speaking, it is illegal for you to:
- Photograph a minor or an impaired person who is nude
- Create, produce, direct, or transfer material or a performance where a nude minor is involved
- Consent to your minor child’s nude pictures or content being used for material or a presentation
- Possess material or a performance showing a minor or impaired person who is nude
A possible exception is if the material is for a medical, scientific, research, educational, governmental, religious, or other proper purpose, and the minor or impaired person’s parent, guardian, or custodian consents to the use of the minor’s photographs.
It is a second-degree felony to illegally use a minor’s nudity-oriented material or performance. It is a third-degree felony to make use of an impaired person’s material or performance. Unlawful possession of this material or performance, with nothing more, is punishable as a fifth-degree felony.
Child pornography is just one of several crimes that involve children. Other offenses include the following:
- Public Indecency
- Unlawful Sexual Conduct With A Minor
- Pandering Obscenity
- Displaying Matter Harmful to Juveniles
- Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles
- Sex Offender Registration Violations
Critically, with nearly every sex crime case involving a minor, law enforcement will take the matter very seriously, and prosecutors will aggressively pursue the maximum punishment. Know that there are enhanced penalties based on the victim’s age, and in most cases, your knowledge of the victim’s age is no defense. Juries are especially sympathetic to children and could latch on to their every word despite children tending to be unreliable witnesses. Because of this, if you are accused of a sex crime involving a minor, then you’ll want to get in touch with a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer who can protect your rights and defend you.
Often times, an investigation into a sex crime starts off with the alleged victim (or their family members) reporting the offense, or where a special group of people known as “mandatory reporters” tips off the authorities. Doctors, social workers, teachers, counselors, and clergyman are considered mandatory reporters – they have to report accusations of a sex crime. Once law enforcement receives word of the allegations, they will usually hand off this information to specialized sex crime investigators. These people are well trained to interview and investigate people for sex offenses, and they are keen on the types of evidence that matters in these cases.
Investigators generally collect any available evidence that they have against you before confronting you and possibly making an arrest. Typically, the investigation involves the following steps:
- Investigators collect physical evidence from the alleged scene of the crime
- Investigators procure evidence from the victim (e.g. rape kit)
- Police interview the alleged victim and other potential witnesses
- Police interview you to hear your side of the story
Based on the evidence available to the police, they may decide to move forward with arresting you, or they might try to further question you before doing so. Either way, once you are on the police’s radar, you can count on them asking you to say things that may incriminate you in your case. They may try to get you to slip up and say something to them during their investigation which then leads to your arrest.
So, even if you are a saint and have done nothing wrong whatsoever, it is critical that you make the most of your constitutional rights by remaining silent other than to ask for your attorney. Let your criminal defense attorney get you up to speed on your situation. They can provide you with guidance on your rights and defenses and give you advice on the best way to proceed.
The Rape Kit
As you probably know, we live in a world where the police can gather DNA evidence to help support a possible criminal charge against you. When an alleged victim claims to be raped, then they may submit to a sexual assault forensic examination – known as the rape kit. Basically, a rape kit is a premade kit designed for preserving evidence of a sex crime. It contains:
- The doctor’s instructions
- Swabs that are used to collect biological material
- Test tubes, storages bags
- Combs that are used to collect hair and fibers
- Containers for collecting urine
- Scraping picks and nail clippers that are used to get evidence from the alleged victim’s fingernails or underneath of their fingernails
- Envelopes and sealing tape for storage and delivery of the evidence
The doctor’s first priority is to treat the alleged victim’s injuries. After that, the alleged victim may choose to undergo the rape kit examination. They may also choose to file a police report. Together, the rape kit and police report could lead a prosecutor to bring charges against you. However, this does not make their prosecution of you a slam dunk. In fact, rape kits can be compromised (e.g. the alleged victim showered or changed clothes before coming forward to medical professionals and law enforcement).
Aside from the alleged victim possibly giving the police a rape kit and a statement, it is possible that the police will seek for you to provide a sample of your DNA. Notably, sexual assault investigators have been known to coerce or lull the accused into providing DNA evidence when those investigators don’t even have a warrant or other justification. Remember that police officers in Dayton and elsewhere in Ohio normally have to get a warrant if they want to get your DNA evidence from you. That warrant has to be based on probable cause – not merely a suspension of the investigators. So, if you are accused of a sex crime and the police want your DNA – and they don’t have a warrant – then you are well within your rights to decline their request.
The Police Interrogate You
It is already bad enough that you are accused of committing a sex crime in Ohio. Given the physical evidence that might be accumulated, you could face charges without saying anything to the police. Of course, saying something to the police could lead you to be charged as well. Know that when you are on law enforcement’s radar, they will focus heavily on getting you to speak. It is not uncommon for an interrogator to make you believe that they already have the evidence they need, and that you will only harm yourself by not speaking up. Some corrupt investigators don’t even read arrested people Miranda warnings (right to remain silent; right to an attorney).
If you are suspected of a sex offense, or have been charged with a crime, then you will likely only do yourself an immense disservice by speaking to the police. Just remain silent and ask for your lawyer. If you know you did nothing wrong, you might be inclined to say something to the police in an effort to clear your name. However, your statements could be used against you – and you might not know when you are saying the wrong thing. Have your lawyer on your side before muttering a word to the police.
The Police Ask You To Take A Lie Detector Test
Another method that the police use on the accused is a polygraph test (also known as a lie detector test). This type of test measures your physiological reactions (blood pressure, heart rate, breathing) to identify if you are lying. Rarely are these lie detector tests used by prosecutors because they are often inadmissible as evidence due to the lack of reliability. To the extent that a lie detector test is admitted, then your defense attorney should do their best to ensure that the jury knows how unreliable these tests are.
Dayton police will be interested in anyone with information regarding the alleged sex crime. They will seek a statement from a witness who might have been with you up to the point of the alleged assault (or during the alleged assault). Witnesses who offer the police incriminating information against you will likely be used in trial by the prosecutor if it comes to it.
A sex crime investigation in Dayton will likely involve the police obtaining the alleged victim’s sworn statement before going any further. They will generally look to get other witnesses (e.g. family members, friends, co-workers) to support the alleged victim’s recollection of events. Authorities will also take statements from witnesses who might support your innocence (e.g. a witness who was with you on the day of the alleged sex crime and who attests to you being with them in a different state than where the alleged sex crime occurred).
Remember, though, that if you are merely suspected of committing a sex crime, you do not have to talk to the police and give a statement about anything. Even if you are charged with an offense, your refusal to speak to the police cannot be something that the prosecutor tries to use against you should your case go to trial. And at trial, the prosecutor cannot ask the jury to view you as guilty because you chose not to speak to the police or testify.
The police are well aware that people use their smartphones and electronic devices all the time. These devices could generate a plethora of evidence that the police aim to use in bringing charges. It is possible that the police not only search the alleged victim’s social media and phone, but they also search yours when attempting to gather evidence of any of your potential criminal acts. The thing is – the police typically need a warrant if they want to access anything that is not publicly available but obtaining information from your publicly available profile is fair game to the police. To make matters worse, they can rely upon that information in getting a warrant for accessing your private information. So, if you are facing sex crime accusations, you should promptly remove your information from the public eye.
Above all else, remember that the police will try to use everything possible against you. So, if you make one bad comment to the police, or one bad comment on social media, then authorities can use that information to establish probable cause. And if they have probable cause, that allows them to obtain a warrant to further investigate you. One bad comment and the prosecutors may use that comment against you at trial. So, there is no positive reason for you to speak to the police if they already suspect that you committed a crime. Instead, talk to an attorney right away.
Following an investigation, the police might arrest you, and the prosecutor might bring charges if they believe that there is adequate evidence against you of a sex offense. Keep in mind that you might be charged with one or more sex offenses – many of these offenses have commonalities.
A misdemeanor charge is prosecuted by information (no grand jury required), while a felony charge stems from an indictment as required by the United States Constitution. For you to be indicted, this means that a grand jury (a group of Ohio citizens) has to consider the state’s evidence against you and determine whether probable cause exists for bringing one or more felony charges against you.
Indictment From Grand Jury Required For Felony Charges
Sex offenses could be classified as misdemeanors or felonies. To bring a felony charge, the prosecutor has to show at a preliminary hearing that there is probable cause for charging you with a felony. Typically, a prosecutor seeking felony charges will aim to convince the judge that your case should be bound over in the Court of Common Pleas. If the case goes to the Court of Common Pleas, then the prosecutor submits the case to a grand jury who may issue an indictment. Alternatively, the prosecutor could submit your case to a grand jury without going through a preliminary hearing. Either way, if the grand jury returns an indictment, then you officially face felony charges.
If The Charges Don’t Stick
Remember that charges can stay on your permanent record even if you are never convicted of the offense. This is unfortunate because many unjustly accused people have to go out of their way to get their arrest records or charges sealed or expunged – the state does not automatically do this for you. Think of the fallout that comes from the public – including prospective employers – seeing your record when deciding whether to do business with you. People might jump to the wrong conclusion about you. So, if for any reason the prosecutor drops the charges, or the case against you doesn’t proceed, then to avoid having these charges hamper your life, you should speak with an attorney about sealing or expunging your record.
Special Investigators And Prosecutors For Sex Crimes In Dayton
Sex crimes are treated differently than many other crimes in Ohio. Specifically, special sex crime investigators know the unique and delicate ways of collecting evidence relating to sex crimes. They know that sexual misconduct involves deeply sensitive and personal details, and that alleged victims will be in fragile states. Getting in front of a sex crime investigation is paramount and can in some case result in no charges ever being filed.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal investigation (“BCI”) enlists special investigators to support prosecutors in bringing sex crime cases. BCI can assist the police in a crime scene and help them with accumulating evidence which may involve speaking to suspects and witnesses. BCI also has a Special Prosecutions Section which can lead in prosecutions.
Montgomery County also takes an active part in investigating, among other things, sexual assaults and child sex crimes occurring in the county. Within the Investigations Section, there is a unit who is assigned to registering sex offenders. Additionally, in 1974, Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office established the Victim / Witness Division, which specializes in informing victims about their rights and advocating for those victims in sexual assault cases.
Also, Montgomery County’s Child Abuse Bureau (“CAB”) contains attorneys who are responsible for prosecuting felony child abuse cases. This includes cases where there is sexual or physical abuse of a victim who is under the age of 13. Not only that, but CAB prosecutes family or household members who engage in sexual or physical abuse against victims who are 13-18 years old.
Dayton, like most major cities, employs specialized sex crime investigators. These detectives and prosecutors typically receive specialized training in interview techniques for the parties to a sexual offense and are more familiar with the evidence necessary to bring sex crimes charges in Dayton. Mandatory reporters such as clergy, social workers, teachers, doctors, and counselors may report a potential sex crime against a minor or the victim and/or her loved ones may file a police report directly with Dayton sex crimes detectives. Dayton sex crimes investigators primary look for and/or gather the following evidence after a report of unlawful sexual activity:
A Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (rape kit): Nearly all major hospitals, doctor’s offices, and medical clinics in the Dayton area carry “rape kits,” which are premade kits containing the forms and materials necessary to preserve potential evidence of sexual assault during a victim’s medical examination. Rape kits include swabs, nail clippers, combs, test tubs, storage bags, forms, and sealing tap. These items are primarily used to gather the alleged offender’s DNA and hair evidence from the victim.
DNA: Sexual assault investigators often coerce alleged sexual offenders to submit DNA evidence without a warrant. However, Dayton police officers must obtain a warrant based upon probable cause to seize DNA evidence from a defendant during sex crime investigations.
Sworn Testimony/Affidavits: Dayton sex crime investigations often begin with the victim’s sworn testimony. Police may also obtain testimony from potential witnesses, friends, family members, and co-workers to corroborate the victim’s claims or a defendant’s alibi. Those accused of sex crimes in Dayton do not have to speak with the police and are not required to give testimony. A refusal to speak with police officers looking to trap and confuse sex crimes defendants during interviews may not be used against a defendant in a court of law.
Video/Photo/Social Media Evidence: With the increasing reliance on social media and smartphones, the police may search the victim and defendant’s phones and social media profiles for evidence of criminal activity. They need a warrant to obtain any information not publically available, but they can freely obtain and use evidence obtained from a public profile. They may even use public evidence as the basis for obtaining a warrant to access a suspect’s phone or private messages. Disengage from all social media if you’re under investigation for a sex crime in Dayton.
You might go from being suspected of a sex crime to charged with a sex crime within the blink of an eye. If you are like many criminal defendants, you might find the whole criminal justice process to be confusing and overwhelming, where you don’t know what your rights are or how you should proceed in your case. While the best course of action is to retain a qualified criminal defense attorney, you should at least be up to speed on how the major stages of the process work following your arrest.
For any sex crime punishable as a felony, the Fifth Amendment requires the accused to be indicted by a grand jury. A group of your peers considers the evidence obtained during a sex crimes investigation to determine whether probable cause exists to file felony sex crimes charges in Dayton. This process isn’t necessary for misdemeanor sex offenses.
Initial Appearance, Arraignment
After you are arrested for a sex crime, you are processed at the police station (your identification gets confirmed; you get fingerprinted). Next, you’ll make your first appearance before the judge at your arraignment. With an arraignment, the judge lets you know what you are charged with. You are read your rights and offered an opportunity to enter a plea. You could plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Most defendants plead not guilty during this stage.
Finally, at the arraignment, the judge will normally determine bail. Basically, bail involves you providing financial assurances to the court that you will respond to the charges brought against you. The state wants to be sure that you will show up at trial; that you won’t flee.
During the discovery phase of your case, your attorney and the prosecutor have to share information about the case. This includes any information or documents relevant to the criminal investigation, including witnesses, contact information, medical reports, expert reports, etc. This stage could involve the prosecutor filing motions to get evidence or information from your defense lawyer, and your defense lawyer filing motions with the court for evidence from the prosecutor. Your attorney analyzes the evidence and questions the state’s witnesses. In addition, your attorney looks at all avenues for defending you against these charges and gathers the necessary information to mount a challenge to the prosecutor’s use of evidence against you.
Also, by the close of the discovery phase, it is common for your defense attorney and the prosecutor to talk about a potential plea deal (known as a plea bargain or plea agreement). If you take a plea deal, you generally plead guilty in return for a less severe punishment. At this stage, your attorney should have a better understanding of the strength of the prosecutor’s case. With this information, your attorney will have a better understanding as to whether the potential plea deal makes sense.
During pretrial hearings, your lawyer tries to get as much of the state’s evidence eliminated from consideration at your trial. As an example, your lawyer might argue that some evidence was obtained against you in violation of your rights, and because of that, the evidence should not be admitted. Your lawyer might argue that the evidence was not properly stored or processed, and because of its unreliability, it shouldn’t be admitted. Keep in mind that in these hearings, both sides (your attorney and the prosecutor) may fight to have evidence admitted or suppressed.
Evidentiary Hearings For Certain Sex Offenses
Depending on the sex crime you are charged with, your attorney might be required to attend a special hearing which concerns evidence of your and the alleged victim’s sexual histories. If either party wants to use evidence of sexual history, then the judge has to assess whether the use of that evidence is justified. As an example, the prosecutor might try to use evidence of your sexual history to show your potential motive to commit the offense. However, the judge is supposed to limit the use of certain evidence relating to your or the alleged victim’s reputation or past sexual activity.
Final Plea Negotiations
As the case heads towards trial, you are provided a final opportunity to make arrangements with the prosecutor for a plea deal, and you have the opportunity to enter a guilty plea to avoid trial. Maybe the prosecutor doesn’t offer you a good deal, or perhaps you are unwilling to accept a deal no matter how good it appears because of how you will be admitting to doing something wrong. Consulting with your attorney is crucial during this time, as they might advise you to go in one direction or another based on the strength of the prosecutor’s case.
At your trial, you could decide whether your case is heard before a jury or heard by the judge alone. If a jury is involved, then your defense attorney will be responsible for interviewing possible jurors to determine whether they will fairly and competently judge your case. If a jury member appears biased and partial, then your lawyer might aim to strike that juror, eliminating their ability to serve as a juror.
Following jury selection, your defense attorney and the prosecutor will both give opening statements to the jury. Then, the prosecutor introduces evidence to support their accusation of you committing the sex crime. During the trial, prosecutors can put witnesses including the alleged victim on the stand to testify against you. Fortunately, your defense attorney could cross-examine those witnesses in an attempt to undermine their credibility. Critically, your defense attorney could challenge the statements that witnesses make and expose possible flaws in the witnesses’ recollection of events, among other things. Similarly, your defense attorney may put forth evidence that shows that you didn’t do what the prosecutor says you did. The prosecutor would have the ability to question or challenge that evidence.
After the prosecutor and your defense attorney each make their case, then both attorneys make closing statements to the jury. The judge then reads instructions to the jury about the charges, and the jury deliberates. In Ohio, a jury has the opportunity to deliberate for however long it takes to come to a verdict (a decision as to your guilt or innocence).
If the jury unanimously finds that you are not guilty, then you will be acquitted and released. If the jury unanimously finds you to be guilty, then you will be convicted. But if only some members of the jury think that you are guilty, this results in a hung jury which is where the trial ends and you might have to face another trial.
If you are found guilty or have pleaded guilty or no contest to the charges, then you will be sentenced (punished). The sentencing phase of your case involves the court’s review of sentencing guidelines, any aggravating factors (especially bad conduct that could lead the court to impose a harsher sentence), and any mitigating factors (evidence or information that lessens your degree of criminal culpability, which could lead to a reduction in your sentence).
If you are found guilty of committing an offense of violence or an offense that involves a minor, then you will likely face harsher penalties, in which case your defense attorney should be prepared to argue for leniency. However, if during the offense you were incapacitated, suffering from a mental illness or disability, didn’t know the victim’s age, or didn’t realize what you were doing, then these are things that the court might consider as mitigating factors even if during trial, these factors were not taken into account or were rejected by the jury. As an example, you could be found guilty of a sex offense against a minor regardless of whether you knew the minor’s age at the time, but if you genuinely believed that the minor was an adult, then this could at least affect how badly you are punished.
Also, if prior to the offense you had a clean record and were considered an upstanding member of your community, and witnesses can attest to your good name, then this type of information could be considered by the court in determining your punishment.
You have the right to appeal a sex crime conviction. Generally, for you to have a successful appeal, you have to show that the court made an error in handling your case and this affected the outcome. Harmless errors don’t count. Your dissatisfaction with the outcome of your case doesn’t count. What counts are true mistakes that led to an unfair verdict. It is possible that the errors were caused by the police, the prosecutor, the judge, or even the jury. As an example, a judge improperly allows evidence to be considered by a jury who finds you guilty based on that evidence. Because of the complex standards and issues involved in a criminal appeal, you will want to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can extensively research and analyze the flaws in your trial. To the extent that your appeal is successful, your conviction could be vacated.
When you are facing criminal charges, it is important for you to contact a skilled and experienced Montgomery County sex crimes defense lawyer who will closely review your circumstances and the evidence, and who will mount a strong defense to the charges. Specifically, there may be certain powerful defenses available to you. A solid defense strategy might result in the reduction of your charges, the dismissal of your case, or a finding by the jury of not guilty. Here are some important ways to defend against sex crimes.
Keep in mind that for you to be found guilty of most sex crimes in Ohio, the prosecutor has to show that your alleged sexual activity was nonconsensual, meaning that the alleged victim did not (or could not) consent to your actions. In fact, unless the victim was underage, incapacitated or disabled, then you have every right to argue that the victim indeed consented. However, consent is not based on whether you believed that the victim consented. Instead, it is based on whether a reasonable person in your situation would have believed that the alleged victim consented.
If you have been accused of committing a sex crime against your spouse, then this could affect the prosecutor’s ability to level a sex crime charge against you. This is because under Ohio law, most sex crimes require that your sexual activity be directed at a non-spouse. Evidence of you being legally married and living with your spouse at the time of the alleged offense will be important for purposes of confirming your marital relationship.
As an example, perhaps you and your spouse are getting divorced. As you go through child custody proceedings, your spouse alleges that you sexually assaulted them while you were married. Perhaps this allegation is made by your soon-to-be ex-spouse because they want sole custody or to ruin your life. From a criminal prosecution standpoint, your marriage matters and possibly eliminates you from being charged with a sex crime. However, you could still face sex crime charges if you used force or threatened to use force, and a prosecutor might consider bringing domestic violence charges against you.
Statute Of Limitations
As you have likely seen in the news over recent years (e.g. the Me Too Movement), men have been accused of sex offenses years (decades in some cases) after the alleged offense took place. In most of these cases, nothing happens to the accused person because of how much time has passed. The Ohio statute of limitations prevents a criminal or civil case from being brought against you if too much time has passed, absent limited exceptions. In fact, each of the sex crimes listed in the Ohio Code contains a certain time frame for which the prosecutor must bring charges. If the prosecutor brings the charges late, then your attorney will argue for your case to be dismissed on those grounds alone.
Unfair Criminal Proceedings
If you have been charged with a crime, then you have rights under the United States Constitution and Ohio Constitution protecting you from unfair criminal proceedings. If the prosecutor fails to get an indictment against you, or if you are not provided with legal counsel to defend you, or if you are sitting in jail for months or years as you await trial, then your defense attorney can argue that your constitutional rights have been violated. If this argument is successful, it could result in your case being thrown out.
The United States Bill of Rights provides protections for criminal defendants. Failure to indict, appoint effective defense counsel, and/or “speedy trial” violations are potential constitutional defenses to sex crimes charges in Dayton. These violations may result in a complete dismissal of all criminal charges.
Violation Of Your Fourth Amendment Rights
The fourth amendment says you have the right to be protected from Dayton police’s unlawful searches and seizures. Generally, for the police to be able to gather evidence at your home, then they have to have a search warrant which authorizes them to enter and gather that evidence. It is not uncommon for the police to rely upon bad information when attempting to obtain a warrant. Without a warrant, the police might still attempt to get into your home by coercing you or by threatening to arrest you. They might even try to obtain your DNA samples by illegally fishing around on your property. Put more simply, there is no guarantee that the police will not cross the line in your case to gather incriminating evidence against you.
To the extent that the police did not have the legal justification to be on your property, then any evidence that they obtain from their unlawful search and seizure could be excluded at trial. If your attorney is successful in getting this evidence excluded, then the evidence cannot be used against you to show that you committed a sex crime.
Rape Kit Defense
A standard protocol after someone has made a sex crime allegation is for the alleged victim to be referred for a Rape Kit. If more than a few days have passed since the alleged sexual activity between you and the alleged victim, then it might not be possible for the alleged victim’s DNA to be gathered or for sexual assault evidence kits to be admissible. Even specialized testing kits are only viable if they gather evidence within six weeks of the alleged sexual encounter. Any significant delays in the alleged victim’s forensic examination could mean that crucial DNA evidence which could serve to exonerate you may be lost. In that situation, your attorney will argue that any delayed forensic examination should not be admissible.
It is not beyond the realm of possibility that the alleged victim is just trying to ruin your life and is willing to lie through their teeth to get you arrested, charged, and convicted. The bottom line is that if someone has a vendetta against you, and your defense attorney has any type of evidence of this (e.g. a phone message from the alleged victim who suggests that they are going to ruin you for breaking up with them), then this could all go towards crushing the credibility of the alleged victim. If the alleged victim’s credibility is shot because their lies are exposed, then your case could be dismissed and the alleged victim could even face criminal charges.
Sex takes place often times between complete strangers. It is always possible that the alleged victim slept with you and the rest of Dayton, but they decided to lodge a sex crime accusation against you because they confused you with someone else. To the extent that someone else may have committed the offense against the alleged victim, then your attorney should do everything in their power to show that you have been misidentified.
Relatedly, suppose that the police pull you into a lineup with others who fit the description of the alleged offender. If the police unfairly target you and persuade the alleged victim to pick you out of the lineup, then the police could have violated your rights.
There are many instances in which you could be initially accused of a sex crime, but the evidence is lacking, leading the prosecutor not to bring charges. In other instances, the evidence that the police have is successfully challenged by your defense attorney, resulting in the judge not allowing that evidence to be used against you. As an example, suppose that the prosecutor relies heavily on the alleged victim’s statement when determining to bring charges against you. It is possible that the alleged victim withdrawals (recants) their statement. This could cause the prosecutor to drop their case against you because of having nothing else to work with in persuading the judge or jury of your guilt.
If your defense attorney can show that you were not at the scene of the alleged offense at the time that the offense was supposedly committed, then this goes towards showing that you could not have committed the offense. Alibis could be witnesses who saw you in a different state than where the offense occurred. Credit card receipts, video footage, and other forms of evidence can be used as your alibi as well. As an example, a gas station in Philadelphia has records of you pumping gas there at 12:00 A.M., and the alleged assault occurred at 12:15 A.M. in Dayton, making it impossible for you to have gone from Philadelphia to Dayton in 15 minutes. A solid alibi could result in your case getting thrown out.
In some situations, you might be able to raise an affirmative defense to prosecution in which you essentially admit to committing the offense but you argue that you cannot be charged with the offense because of a particular reason. Some of the affirmative defenses are rooted in Ohio statutes. For example, suppose that you are charged with sexually exploiting a minor. The law states that you can be found guilty regardless of your knowledge of the minor’s age. However, if you genuinely tried to ascertain the alleged victim’s true age by asking for their driver’s license, then your attempt at figuring out their age could be construed as an affirmative defense.
In another example, suppose that you were drugged and became extremely intoxicated. If you didn’t know about the drugs until after they were in your system, and you committed a sex crime while blacked out on those drugs, then your involuntary intoxication could serve as an affirmative defense because you lacked knowledge of your actions.
Each sex crime carries one or more penalties. These penalties vary depending on the severity of the offense and whether you have been convicted of prior sex offenses. Notably, prior convictions almost always result in enhanced penalties. Here is a quick rundown of the maximum fines and possible jail sentences associated with Dayton sex offenses:
Fines, Jail Time
Crime Classification Maximum Fine Maximum Jail Sentence
Minor misdemeanor $150 None
Fourth-degree misdemeanor $250 30 days
Third-degree misdemeanor $500 60 days
Second-degree misdemeanor $750 90 days
First-degree misdemeanor $1,000 180 days
Fifth-degree felony $2,500 1 year
Fourth-degree felony $5,000 1.5 years
Third-degree felony $10,000 5 years
Second-degree felony $15,000 8 years
First-degree felony $20,000 11 years
Other Types Of Punishment At A Glance
- Probation (community control) – you are supervised by a probation officer and are potentially subject to house arrest, a curfew, and other restrictions on where you can go
- Community service – unpaid work that you complete as an alternative to spending that time behind bars
- Payment of court costs and investigation fees
- Mandatory restitution to the victim – payment for the victim’s medical bills, relocation, counseling, and protection
- Mandatory sex offender registration with the Ohio Sexual Offender Registry (eSORN)
- Sex offender counseling
- Drug and alcohol evaluation and treatment
- Mental health evaluation and treatment
Unlike with most other crimes, a sex crime conviction typically requires that you register as a sex offender. This can have a harmful effect on your life for years after completing your sentence. Specifically, the Montgomery County Sherriff is tasked with registering sex offenders in Dayton. If you are found to be a sex offender, then you’ll have to report your information (e.g. address, place of employment, social media accounts, school information, vehicle information) to the County Sheriff on a periodic basis. In Ohio, offenders are subject to registration on the Ohio Sexual Offender Registry and sex offenders fall into three categories (or tiers) based on the offense that they are convicted of, and there are different requirements of each tier. Convicted sex offenders in Dayton are designated as either Tier I, II, or III offenders
Tier 1 Sex Offender Registration
You have to register each year with the Montgomery County Sheriff for 15 years. Offenses that fall into Tier 1 include:
- Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor
- Sexual imposition
- Illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance
- Child enticement with sexual motivation
- Pandering obscenity
- Menacing by stalking with sexual motivation
- Unlawful restraint with sexual motivation
- Attempt or conspiracy to commit the aforementioned offenses
Tier 2 Sex Offender Registration
You have to register twice a year with the Montgomery County Sherriff for 25 years. Offenses that fall into Tier 2 include:
- Compelling prostitution
- Pandering obscenity involving a minor
- Pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor
- Illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance
- Gross sexual imposition of a victim under the age of 13
- Child endangering
- Kidnapping with sexual motivation
- Abduction with sexual motivation
- Attempt or conspiracy to commit these offenses
Tier 3 Sex Offender Registration
You have to register four times a year with the Montgomery County Sheriff for life. Offenses that fall into Tier 3 include:
- Sexual battery
- Murder with sexual motivation
- Unlawful death or termination of pregnancy from committing a felony with sexual motivation
- Kidnapping of a minor to engage in sexual activity
- Felonious assault with sexual motivation
- Attempt or conspiracy to commit these offenses
Consequences Of Sex Offender Registry
- Your information will appear on a registry where the public can see your personal information (e.g. your name, sex crime convictions, residence, employment)
- Your neighborhood is possibly notified about your presence
- You might be prohibited from living or working in certain places such as school zones
- You may not be able to use public pools, libraries, parks, and other public facilities
- The police might maintain ongoing access to your online information (e.g. emails, online handles, screen names, profiles)
When you are charged with a sex crime, you will naturally be focused on the main consequences of a conviction including jail time, fines, and the sex offender registration requirements. Unfortunately, there are several additional consequences that can continue to interfere with your life even after you have completed all the requirements of your sentence. This includes:
- Loss of employment; failure to find new employment
- Expulsion from an educational program
- Loss of professional licensure, certifications, or security clearances
- Inability to find housing or obtain a mortgage
- Ineligibility to own firearms (if you have been found guilty of a violent felony offense)
- Ineligibility to hold public office or serve on a jury
- Loss of child custody
- Ineligibility to vote
- Inability to get financial aid
- Inability to travel in and out of Ohio
The severity of the offense plays a big part in the collateral consequences. The more serious the offense, the more likely these collateral consequences will affect you in the long term.
As an example, suppose that you are convicted of gross sexual imposition. You immediately lose your job, which causes you and your family to face mounting financial pressures. After completing your sentence, you attempt to get a job in your given profession, but employers overlook you after conducting a background check. This could cause you to remain unemployed or to have to seek employment outside of the profession that you worked so hard to enter into. In this situation, the harm to your employment could be far more costly than a fine imposed for gross sexual imposition.
- Ohio’s Sex Crime Laws: If you want to learn more about the exact laws in Ohio as it relates to sex crimes, then check out the Ohio Revised Code. In most cases, a crime will be written out in a statute (law) that puts you on notice of what the state considers illegal. These laws are created by Ohio General Assembly and are enforced by Dayton police.
- Dayton Police Department: The Dayton Police Department considers law enforcement and public safety as its priority, and considers fairness, respect, integrity, and professionalism to be its core values. Headed by the Chief of Police, the Dayton Police Department is mainly comprised of Patrol Operations, Investigations, and Administrative Services. This Department is located at 335 W. 3rd Street, Dayton, Ohio 45402 and can be reached at (937) 333-2677 for non-emergencies. Call 911 in case of emergency.
- Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office: This Office handles jail services, court operations, support services, community services, and the sex offender registry. The Office is located at 345 W. 2nd Street, Dayton, Ohio 45422 and can be reached at (937) 225-4357.
- Ohio Attorney General’s Office: Led by Ohio Attorney General, Dave Yost, the Office maintains a vast Investigation Division comprised of several units including the Crimes Against Children Unit. This particular unit involves authorities investigating and prosecuting people who commit crimes against children. Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation has expertise in sex offender warrant enforcement and forensic analysis of computers and technology. BCI also has a Rapid Response Team that moves fast on investigations and assists victims. The Attorney General’s Office is located at 30 E. Broad St., 14th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215, and can be reached at (800) 282-0515.
Sex Crime Victims
- RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) – the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the country who partners with more than 1,000 sexual assault service providers. The program aims to prevent sexual violence, ensure offenders are brought to justice, and help survivors. RAINN can be reached at (800) 656-4673.
- Montgomery County’s Domestic Violence Hotline – provides resources to those who have been sexually assaulted by a member of their family or household. The Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at (937) 461-4357.
- RACES (Rape Advocacy, Counseling, and Education Services) – offers a crisis hotline and services to victims of sexual assault, abuse, and harassment. RACES can be reached at (217) 344-6298.
- Domestic Violence Shelters In Dayton, Ohio – offers counseling and support services, and housing services via the Artemis Center and YWCA Dayton. They can be reached at (937) 222-7233.
- OhioHealth Sexual Assault Response Network Of Central Ohio (SARNCO) – offers advocacy and emotional support in connection with medical and social services at OhioHealth Emergency Departments and other facilities. SARNCO can be reached at (614) 267-7020.
Keep in mind that there are few resources that are available to those who are accused of offenses. For this reason, if you are charged with a sex offense, it is recommended for you to contact a criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your charges, your rights, and how to avoid a conviction. Joslyn Law Firm is comprised of skilled sex crime defense attorneys who are well-versed on the nature of these charges, the criminal justice process, and how to defend you in your case. Joslyn Law Firm attorneys can speak with you in confidence and help you manage your situation.
Sex Crime Accusations On The Rise
Public Opinion About Sex Crimes
If you are charged with a sex offense in Ohio, then at that moment, you are innocent until proven guilty. This doesn’t matter to most people. Look no further than the Me Too Movement among other groups who have been known to openly judge the accused as guilty without sufficient evidence to back those accusations up. There have been notable instances in which innocent people have been unjustly accused. Their reputation smeared. Take the Duke Lacrosse Scandal, for example. If you have been accused of any sex offense whatsoever, then you too could be deemed guilty for no good reason in today’s society.
Sex Assault Cases On The Rise In US
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) makes clear in a study that in recent years, there are more people coming forward with accusations of sex offenses. There were an estimated 139,815 estimated rapes in 2019 alone.
To the extent that someone accuses you of committing a sex crime, then that alleged victim has special rights under Ohio law even if the prosecutors never charge you with an offense. It is possible for the alleged victim to ask the court to grant them a Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order (known as a SOOPO). The relevant SOOPO forms and instructions are housed on the website of the Supreme Court of Ohio and The Ohio Judicial System.
As an example, an alleged victim completes a Form 10.03-E (Civil Stalking Protection Order or Civil Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order) to get a judge to issue an order that restrains you from committing abuse or threats of abuse. With this order, the court could require you to:
- Not enter the alleged victim’s home, business, school, or place of employment
- Not interfere with the alleged victim’s life (e.g. cancelling utilities, intercepting mail)
- Surrender keys to the alleged victim’s property
- Stay 500 feet or more away from the alleged victim
- Not remove, damage, or get rid of the alleged victim’s property or pets
- Not initiate any contact with the alleged victim
- Not encourage or cause anyone else to do what you are not allowed to do
- Not use, possess, carry, or obtain a deadly weapon
It is the Common Pleas Court’s general division who generally handles SOOPO petitions – not the Court’s domestic relations division. There are no rulings relating to your spousal support or child support that will come by way of a SOOPO.
What Is A Sex Crime In Ohio?
If you engage in unlawful sexual activity or sexual conduct in Ohio, then you might be charged with a sex crime. Rape, sexual battery, sexual imposition, indecent exposure, pandering, prostitution, and other sex offenses are profoundly serious matters in Dayton. Many sex crimes are felony offenses that can carry stiff penalties including jail time and fines. Critically, prosecutors often seek the maximum punishment for sex crimes involving minors. Keep in mind that if you are charged with a sex offense, you are innocent until proven guilty. To avoid going from charged to convicted, you should retain the services of an experienced sex crime lawyer in Ohio.
What Does Ohio Consider Sex?
Under Ohio Law, sex is considered sexual conduct, meaning that you and someone else engage in vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, fellatio, or cunnilingus. Generally, unlawful sexual conduct means that the alleged victim does not consent to your sexual conduct or is incapable of consenting to it because of their age or impairment.
You also commit unlawful sexual conduct if you insert something into the alleged victim’s vagina or anal opening. It doesn’t matter how slight or seemingly insignificant the penetration is. If there is any penetration at all, then Ohio law considers this to mean intercourse for purposes of criminal prosecution.
What Makes You A Sex Offender?
For any felony sex offense that you are convicted of in Ohio, you could be subject to the sex offender registration requirements in the state and labeled a “sex offender.” It also is possible to be labeled a sex offender for certain misdemeanor offenses.
Ohio considers sex offenders as those who commit rape, unlawful sex with a minor (statutory rape), sexual battery, sexual assault, gross sexual imposition, pandering, child pornography, kidnapping with sexual motivation, compelling prostitution, child endangerment and other felony offenses. It is important for you to know that there are three tiers of sex offender registration requirements, and they dictate how often you have to report to the authorities, and how long your information (which includes your criminal charges) will be made available to the public.
Will I Go To Jail If I Commit A Sex Crime?
If you commit a sex offense in Dayton, you could be looking at as little as no jail time to several years behind bars depending on what you are charged with. In some cases, judges must impose minimum sentences. If you are convicted of a sex offense or otherwise plead guilty or no contest, and the offense involves a minor or an act of violence, then you will go to jail in all likelihood. For example, if you forcibly rape someone, then you are looking at anywhere from five years to life behind bars. Because of the wide range of potential jail sentences, it is vital that you discuss your situation with an attorney to determine what is at stake.
What Does Consent Mean?
Consent means an agreement between you and another person to engage in sexual activity (e.g. sex). You don’t need their express (verbal) permission in order to have their consent. But in Ohio, there is no way for someone who is under 16 years old to consent because of their age. Suppose you are 21 years old, and you get a 15-year-old girl to have sex with you. The girl cannot consent according to Ohio law, which means that even if they have given you permission, the state of Ohio has not. Others who cannot consent include people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, those who are mentally or physically incapacitated, and those who are unaware of your activities.
What Is The Age Of Consent In The State Of Ohio?
The age of consent in Ohio is 16. That means that if you have sexual activity with someone who is under that age, then it is considered a sex offense (possibly rape or unlawful sexual conduct with a minor). Critically, you don’t have to know the victim’s age to be convicted. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to a sex crime. For this reason, if you are in any way unsure about the age of someone who you want to engage in sexual activity with, then ask them for their driver’s license or other identification for verification.
Are There Any Defenses To A Sex Crime Charge?
Yes, and some of these defenses could potentially result in your charges being dismissed or otherwise result in you being acquitted:
- You had the alleged victim’s consent
- You were falsely accused
- You were mistaken for someone else
- You were married to the victim at the time of the offense
- Evidence was obtained from you (e.g. DNA) in violation of your rights
- The evidence against you is unreliable
- The evidence against you is inadequate or insufficient
- You were intoxicated against your will
- You didn’t know what you were doing
- The state took too long to bring a case against you
Remember that some of these defenses might not apply to your situation. The Ohio sex crime laws are extremely complicated, so to ensure that you are on the right path to defending against these charges, you’ll want to consult with an experienced sex crime attorney.
Should I Talk To The Dayton Police?
When the Dayton police investigate a possible sex crime, they may try to speak to you before arresting you or try to elicit some sort of incriminating response from you after arresting you. Know that you do not have to talk to the police. They already suspect that you are guilty. One seemingly minor slip up when talking to the police could result in your conviction where you spend several years in prison and have to pay thousands of dollars in fines. It is best for you to keep quiet around anyone other than your lawyer. Your lawyer’s job will be to guide you through this situation in a manner that protects you. If you feel compelled to say something to the police to clear your name, run your concerns by your lawyer first.
Should I Contact A Dayton Sex Crime Attorney?
A sex crimes defense lawyer could be your guiding light in this most difficult situation that you are in. You do not want to make the mistake of going it alone or hiring an inexperienced or overworked lawyer to protect you. Consider the potential consequences of getting convicted: a stiff prison sentence, a large fine, a lifetime sex offender registration requirement, loss of family relationships, loss of employment. Your future is not worth gambling on. Knowing that you are innocent is not enough to prevent the state from landing a conviction. The moment that you stand accused of a sex offense, you should consult with an Ohio criminal defense attorney for their guidance and direction.
Have you been accused of a sex crime in Dayton? If so, don’t lose hope. Instead, contact a criminal defense attorney right away. The skilled and experienced sex crime attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm are devoted to representing the accused. We will carefully examine your situation, review your legal options, implement all viable defense strategies to fight these charges, and protect you from the overzealous prosecutor who wants to ruin your life. Let us put on the gloves and fight on your behalf. We will help ensure that you get the best resolution to your matter. To learn more, call Joslyn Law Firm at (937) 356-3969 or contact us online today.