Ohio Sex Crimes Lawyer

Ohio Sex Crimes Lawyer

Rape is a serious Ohio sex crime, punished as a first-degree felony, often with specifications that allow enhanced punishments and sentences. A conviction for rape results in long prison sentences, sex offender registration, and other collateral consequences that change the accused’s life forever. 

Police and prosecutors take Rape and other sex crime charges extremely seriously, and anyone accused of these crimes should do the same. Whether you are being investigated for rape, or have already been arrested and charged, you should contact Cleveland rape defense firm Norman Law as soon as possible. 

From the beginning, you will face an aggressive government looking for the harshest possible consequences and that will use all means at their disposal to obtain a conviction. Often, law enforcement will attempt to scare witnesses who might otherwise testify on your behalf at a trial and the witnesses will not want to come aid in your defense. 

When you hire our office early, we are able to conduct our own investigation before the police scare people away and are able to secure beneficial statements from key witnesses to help your case. We have represented people in the early stages, and on several occasions, were able to get all charges dropped prior to even going to trial. 

Whether a total dismissal, reduced charges, going to trial for an acquittal, or just putting you in the best position possible, we are Defending Cleveland and defending those accused of rape. Contact us at (216) 487-7055 for a free and confidential consultation, and guide on how to defend against sex crime charges.

Ohio Rape Charges

Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 2907.02 lists rape as any form of unwanted sexual contact without consent, or through the use of force, intimidation, or coercion. You can be charged with rape if you impair the victim’s judgment with alcohol, drugs, and/or a controlled substance by “force, the threat of force, or deception.” You can also be charged if the other individual is less than 13 years old (regardless of whether or not you knew their age), or if the alleged victim had an impaired ability to consent due to age or mental capacity, and you had reasonable cause to know of this limitation.


In Ohio, rape is a first-degree felony, which is the highest level of felony. Convictions are punishable by three to 11 years in prison and fines reaching $20,000, as well as mandatory sex offender registration. However, if you cause significant physical harm or the alleged victim was under a certain age, you face increased sentences, between 10, 25 years, or up to life in prison without parole.

These high and enhanced penalties make rape charges among the most important types of cases to contact a rape defense lawyer as soon as you become aware of an investigation. 

Sex Crimes Other Than Rape

In Ohio, there are also various criminal charges associated with rape, including:

Gross Sexual Imposition (ORC 2907.05)

Gross sexual imposition encompasses some form of sexual contact under the following:

  • You attempted to coerce the alleged victim through force or the threat of force
  • The alleged victim is under 13
  • You attempted to or successfully prevented resistance by providing the alleged victim alcohol or drugs
  • The other party was impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • The other party was unable or had a mental condition that prevents them from consenting

Gross sexual imposition is a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison, fines reaching $5,000, and yearly sex offender registration for 15 years. If you gave the victim a substance to diminish their ability to consent, the offense becomes a third-degree felony, punishable by nine months to three years in prison, fines between $5,000 and $10,000, and yearly sex offender registration for 15 years. If the victim was under 13 years old, you face a third-degree felony, punishable by up to three years in prison (this prison sentence is mandatory if you have a prior sex offense on your record), $10,000 in fines, and sex offender registration every 180 days for 25 years.


Sexual Imposition (ORC 2907.06)

This offense involves sexual contact between two parties when the alleged offender knows the following:

  • The contact is offensive to the victim
  • The other party’s judgment is impaired
  • The alleged offender is aware that the other person or persons submitted to the act not knowing about the sexual contact
  • The accuser is at least 13 years old, but younger than 16, and the alleged offender is over 18 years of age, and four or more years older than the victim
  • The alleged offender is a mental health professional while the victim is a patient who was submitted to the contact by false representation.

Sexual imposition is a third-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and $500 in fines for a first offense. For a second conviction, you face a first-degree misdemeanor, subject to up to 180 days in jail and fines reaching $1,000.

Consequences for an Ohio Rape Conviction

Since rape is a first-degree felony in Ohio, it is among the most severely punished crimes under state law. If any aggravating factors existed, you will face a lengthy prison sentence and hefty fines.

A rape defense lawyer can help you understand all the potential penalties for a conviction, including:

  • Prison sentences
  • Fines
  • Mandatory sex offender registration
  • Restitution to the victim
  • Community service
  • Probation
  • Counseling

Sex Offender Registration for Rape

Ohio law requires sex offender registration for those convicted of rape and many other sex crimes. Ohio sex offenders are required to report their personal information at regular intervals to different government agencies. This information includes their current employment details, physical home address, phone number, and email address. Registered sex offenders are then added to a public database. Failure to register as required will result in additional criminal penalties. If you want to leave the state you are then subject to a hodge-podge of state registration requirements as well as federal laws requiring other registration actions. 

Current Ohio law designates three levels of registration for convicted sex offenders: Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III. Rape is a Tier III sex offense, requiring convicted offenders to register every 90 days for the rest of their lives. This means that every time an offender moves to a new community, the city will be notified, including everyone living within 1,000 feet of their residence.

False Rape Allegations

Rape is an extremely serious crime, but false rape allegations may be nearly as destructive to the people falsely accused. Police officers sometimes make mistakes, or worse, take steps they know to be wrong in order to secure an arrest and conviction.  Witnesses can misremember details, or worse, say things they know are not true to put the accused in a bad light. Evidence can be mishandled, or worse, you could find that the forensic scientists supposedly taking a neutral approach to evidence in your case actually just records whatever they think will be best for their employer, the government. Our Cleveland Rape Lawyer team will approach your case by first conducting a thorough investigation of witnesses, physical evidence, and the accuser’s background.

If there are problems or weaknesses with the case, we will find them. From there, we will craft the strongest possible defense of your case. If law enforcement acted unlawfully, we’ll fight to make sure faulty evidence is not used against you. If the allegations are found to be false, the accuser should be held responsible, and we will do everything in our power to clear your name.

If you or a loved one has been accused of rape, contact our office for a free guide on how to defend a rape/sex crime case, and to schedule a time to discuss your case with our team. Call us today at (216)-487-7055.
 

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