Cleveland Child Sex Crimes Lawyer
Prosecutors vigorously pursue child sex crimes. Conviction brings harsh penalties. Being under investigation for or charged with Cleveland child sex crimes is an incredibly serious matter. You will need an experienced, aggressive child sex crimes lawyer.
Former Assistant Cuyahoga Prosecutor Daniel M. Margolis understands Ohio child sex crimes laws and how the state builds a case against defendants. He knows how to defend your charges and works hard for the best possible outcome. Remember that you have a right to remain silent and talk to an attorney.
Ohio Child Sex Charges & Penalties
Ohio law provides various charges for child sex crimes. These charges include child molestation, online solicitation of a minor for sex, lewd acts, child pornography, and statutory rape. Being charged with a sex crime involving a minor can be life changing. Having a skilled defense attorney on your side as soon as possible is essential.
Child Molestation charges in Ohio
Gross sexual imposition: Knowingly touching the genitalia of another, including through clothing, when the touching is done to with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify sexual desire. If the victim is 12 years old or younger, it is a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 60 months in prison and/or a maximum find of $10,000.
Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor: Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, age 13-15, is a third degree felony punishable by up to 60 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000 if the alleged offender is 10 or more years older than the other person. If the victim is under 13, the crime is classified as first-degree felony rape, punishable by up to 11 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000.
Sexual battery: Engaging in sexual contact of any kind where the victim is under the age of 13 is considered sexual battery. Because a minor under 13 cannot give consent, this is charged as a second-degree felony, punishable by two to eight years in prison.
Statutory Rape: Forced sexual penetration of any kind with a victim of any age is rape, a first degree felony. Statutory rape can be charged even if the sex is consensual if one party is over 18 years old and the other is younger than 16. This offense is punishable by a minimum of three years and maximum of life in prison (VICTIMS UNDER 13), and a fine of up to $20,000, or both.
Other Child Sex Crimes
Online solicitation of a minor for sex: Called “importuning” in Ohio law, it is an offense to attempt to engage a minor in sexual activity, regardless of whether the offender knows the person’s age, and to do so using any telecommunications device. Depending on the victim’s age and your criminal record, conviction of these felony offenses could mean up to five years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
Child pornography: Pandering obscenity involving a minor, pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, and illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material or performance are statutes prohibiting child porn in Ohio. These are felonies in the second or fourth degree depending on the facts. Penalties range from 18 months in prison and/or fine of $5,000 to two-eight years in prison and/or $15,000.
In addition to imprisonment and fines for sex crimes against minors, you may be required to register as a sexual predator or habitual sex offender. Sex offender registration can have a considerable negative effect on your ability to find work and obtain housing.
Statutes of Limitations for Child Sex Crimes
Under Ohio law, misdemeanor offenses must be charged within two years, while the government has six years to bring felony actions. But some child sex charges have longer statutes of limitations. These time periods increase for certain sex offenses.
The statute of limitations is 20 years for:
- Unlawful sexual conduct with minor;
- Gross sexual imposition; and
- Compelling prostitution
For rape and sexual assault, prosecution can be brought within 25 years after the offense is committed. Should DNA evidence be uncovered, but it is later than 25 years after the alleged crime, an action can be brought five years after the discovery.
Collateral Consequences of Conviction of Ohio Child Sex Charges
If you are convicted of a child sex crime, you’ll spend time in prison, probably have a fine levied, likely serve a period of probation, and may be required to register as a sex offender. But your punishment won’t end there. Under Ohio and federal law, possible consequences for sex crime convictions include:
- Loss of your right to acquire, have, carry, or use a firearm. ORC § 2923.13(A)(2)
- Loss of public housing.
- Being declared incompetent to be an elector or juror or to hold an office of honor, trust, or profit, or to circulate or serve as a witness for the signing of any declaration of candidacy and petition, voter registration application, or nominating, initiative, referendum, or recall petition. ORC § 2961.01(A)(1) and (B)
- Being subjected to deportation if a nonresident alien.
- Ineligibility to be a police officer. ORC § 109.77
- Prohibited from serving in the armed forces. 10 U.S. Code § 504(a)
- Barred from being a foster caregiver under ORC § 2151.86.
- Denial or loss of any license from the State Board of Education. ORC § 3319.292
- Disqualification as a guardian. ORC § 2111.03
Furthermore, your reputation in the community, with family, friends, and coworkers, will likely be damaged beyond repair. You could find that your romantic relationships, including marriages and long-term partnerships, could end. You may also face serious issues with child custody and visitation.
An Experienced Cleveland Child Sex Lawyer Can Help
If you’re facing child sex charges, you need legal representation. Going it alone with such serious charges and the harsh penalties that come upon conviction is a bad decision. Cleveland child sex lawyer Daniel A. Margolis knows what you are going through and can help get you to the other side. He will work diligently to get the very best outcome possible for your child sex charges.
If you’re facing child sex charges in the Cleveland area, contact The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC at (216) 533-9533 or use our online form to schedule a confidential consultation about your case.