Sexual battery is the formal name for the crime more often referred to as sexual assault or rape, although rape is actually a different crime. The nature of this crime makes it one of the more aggressively prosecuted criminal offenses in Ohio, and the penalties for a conviction can be severe since this is a felony offense.
Many sexual battery cases involve alleged offenders who believed that alleged victims had consented to sexual conduct, but prosecutors rarely take the alleged offender’s view seriously. In cases in which the alleged victim is not an adult (meaning not yet 18 years of age), consent is a non-factor since children are not capable of legally consenting to sexual activity.
Have you been arrested for an alleged sexual battery offense in Columbus or a surrounding area of Ohio? You need to take the criminal charges very seriously and invest in a strong defense against the criminal charges.
Sabol | Mallory regularly defends people accused of all kinds of sex crimes and we can fight to make sure that you are able to obtain the most favorable possible outcome to your case. Call (614) 300-5088 or contact us online right now to set up a free consultation that will allow us to look at your case and help you understand all of your legal options.
Under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.03(A), no person can engage in sexual conduct with another person, who is not the spouse of the alleged offender, when any of the following apply:
● The alleged offender knowingly coerces the other person to submit by any means that would prevent resistance by a person of ordinary resolution.
● The alleged offender knows that the other person's ability to appraise the nature of or control the other person's own conduct is substantially impaired.
● The alleged offender knows that the other person submits because the other person is unaware that the act is being committed.
● The alleged offender knows that the other person submits because the other person mistakenly identifies the offender as the other person's spouse.
● The alleged offender is the other person's natural or adoptive parent, or a stepparent, or guardian, custodian, or person in loco parentis of the other person.
● The other person is in custody of law or a patient in a hospital or other institution, and the alleged offender has supervisory or disciplinary authority over the other person.
● The alleged offender is a teacher, administrator, coach, or other person in authority employed by or serving in a school for which the state board of education prescribes minimum standards pursuant to Ohio Revised Code § 3301.07(D), the other person is enrolled in or attends that school, and the offender is not enrolled in and does not attend that school.
● The other person is a minor, the alleged offender is a teacher, administrator, coach, or other person in authority employed by or serving in an institution of higher education, and the other person is enrolled in or attends that institution.
● The other person is a minor, and the alleged offender is the other person's athletic or other type of coach, is the other person's instructor, is the leader of a scouting troop of which the other person is a member, or is a person with temporary or occasional disciplinary control over the other person.
● The alleged offender is a mental health professional, the other person is a mental health client or patient of the offender, and the alleged offender induces the other person to submit by falsely representing to the other person that the sexual conduct is necessary for mental health treatment purposes.
● The other person is confined in a detention facility, and the alleged offender is an employee of that detention facility.
● The other person is a minor, the alleged offender is a cleric, and the other person is a member of, or attends, the church or congregation served by the cleric.
● The other person is a minor, the alleged offender is a peace officer, and the offender is more than two years older than the other person.
Ohio Revised Code § 2907.01(A) defines sexual conduct as “vaginal intercourse between a male and female; anal intercourse, fellatio, and cunnilingus between persons regardless of sex; and, without privilege to do so, the insertion, however slight, of any part of the body or any instrument, apparatus, or other object into the vaginal or anal opening of another. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete vaginal or anal intercourse.”
Again, sexual battery differs from the crime of rape, which is defined under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.02 as engaging in sexual conduct with another who is not the spouse of the alleged offender or who is the spouse of the alleged offender but is living separate and apart from the alleged offender, when any of the following applies:
● For the purpose of preventing resistance, the alleged offender substantially impairs the other person's judgment or control by administering any drug, intoxicant, or controlled substance to the other person surreptitiously or by force, threat of force, or deception.
● The other person is less than 13 years of age, whether or not the alleged offender knows the age of the other person.
● The other person's ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age, and the alleged offender knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the other person's ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age.
Rape also means engaging in sexual conduct with another when the alleged offender purposely compels the other person to submit by force or threat of force.
Sexual battery is generally a third-degree felony, but if the other person is less than 13 years of age, sexual battery is a second-degree felony and the court must impose a mandatory prison term equal to one of the definite prison terms prescribed in Ohio Revised Code § 2929.14(A)(2)(b) for a second-degree felony.
Sexual battery convictions can have devastating consequences that may include the following depending on the classification of the alleged offense. Convictions may be punishable as follows:
● Third-Degree Felony — Up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
● Second-Degree Felony — Up to eight years in prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000
● First-Degree Felony — Up to 11 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000
Keep in mind that prison time and fines are only one kind of consequence a person can face for a sexual battery conviction. In the long run, a person will face many other additional problems if convicted of this crime.
A sexual battery conviction can also negatively impact job prospects, making it difficult for people to find work when they are unemployed and possibly keeping jobs when they are employed. You could also experience difficulty furthering your education.
People should also understand that sexual battery convictions can have negative repercussions for child custody decisions and you could possibly lose custody of your child if convicted. Licensed professionals could also have their professional licenses revoked or have trouble obtaining professional licenses.
Worse yet, sexual battery is considered a Tier 3 sexual offense when it comes to sex offender registration. This means that a person who is convicted of sexual battery will be required to register as a sex offender every 90 days for the remainder of their lives.
Ohio state law also subjects Tier 3 sex offenders to a number of community notification requirements, meaning that notification will be provided to numerous parties about the sex offender status. When a person is newly registered as a sex offender, their status will be shared via Sheriff’s notices with all neighbors within 1,000 feet of their residence in any neighborhood and notices are provided to all residents in a multi-unit building such as an apartment complex.
It is also possible that sex offender statuses will be shared with schools, child services agencies, day care centers, and other additional parties in the alleged offender’s neighborhood. Finally, a sex offender will be required to report all changes of residence or employment, including intent to move to new geographical areas.
Sex offender search - Ohio.gov — The sex offender registry is a public database, and registered sex offenders in Ohio are required by law to register their home address, work address, and vehicle information with their local sheriff's office to be publicly accessible through the Electronic Sex Offender Registration & Notification (eSORN) database. Supplemental information, such as phone numbers, email addresses, screen names, and handles are also required, but are not public. The reverse lookup feature allows members of the public to input phone numbers, email addresses, and internet names into the eSORN database and an alert will be displayed if the information is associated with a registered sex offender, but the feature will not publicly identify the offender who registered the information, instead directing the individual to immediately contact the local sheriff's office or the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).
State v. Noggle, 67 Ohio St.3d 31, 33, 615 N.E.2d 1040, 1993-Ohio-189 (1993) — This was a 1993 Supreme Court of Ohio case in which the court examined Ohio Revised Code § 2907.03 and noted that the teacher-student relationship was not one of the forbidden situations at that time. “What Dale Noggle is accused of doing is wrong in the eyes of his profession and in the eyes of society,” the Supreme Court wrote. “What Dale Noggle is accused of doing, however, is not considered a criminal wrong by the state of Ohio. Therefore, we affirm the decision of the court of appeals.”
If you were arrested for an alleged sexual battery offense in the greater Columbus area, you are going to need to have a qualified lawyer on your side. Sabol | Mallory can present an aggressive defense against your criminal charges and will fight to get them either reduced or dismissed.
We have more than two decades of experience in courtrooms in Ohio. Our firm will examine your case and begin conducting a rigorous investigation as soon as you call (614) 300-5088 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.