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What Are the Definitions of Sexual Battery and Rape in Ohio?

July 28, 2016 | Written by Dan Margolis

When you are charged with committing sexual offenses in Ohio, it is important to understand the different designations. Different types of assault are considered a different degree of felony, which impacts the minimum and maximum sentence you might face if convicted of the crime. According to the Ohio Revised Code, there are two main categories of sexual assault: sexual battery and rape.

There are a few scenarios that fall under the category of sexual battery, which is considered a third degree felony. This might occur in cases where the other person submits to sex but you have some type of power over that person. For example, if you were a teacher, administrator, adoptive parent, guardian, doctor or held a similar relationship with the other person, then you would be considered to have committed sexual battery. It also might occur if the other person is incapacitated or unaware that something is happening. Any coercion that would normally be resisted might also fall under this category. If the other person involved in this type of sexual assault is younger than 13, then you might face a second-degree felony charge rather than a third-degree felony.

Rape is considered a first degree felony. Under Ohio law, if the victim suffered “serious physical harm,” you hold a previous conviction of rape or the alleged victim is not yet 10 years old, you could be handed a life-term in prison without the possibility of parole. The prison term for most rape convictions is at least five years in prison, but sentencing is determined by the existence of a previous conviction, the age of the alleged victim and your age.

There are several definitions of what rape is in Ohio. If you allegedly used a threat, force or violence, then it would be classified as rape. Rape also involves situations when there is significant impairment, such as a mental or physical condition, or any drug or intoxicant on the other person. Any sexual offense on those under the age of 13 also falls under this category of sexual assault. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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