Sex Crimes Investigations
Police investigations play a pivotal role in charging and prosecuting sex crimes. Once an alleged victim files a report, law enforcement officers will begin collecting evidence through various methods. Prosecutors will analyze the records and information and determine if they should file criminal charges.
If police are investigating you for or charging you with a sex offense in Ohio, stay informed of the investigations process and consider hiring a lawyer from our team who handles these cases.
The attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm are established and respected among the legal community. Firm Founder Brian Joslyn was nominated as one of the top 100 lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association and chosen as the top criminal lawyer in Columbus by Columbus CEO Magazine.
Joslyn Law Firm accepts clients throughout the greater Hamilton County area and surrounding cities, including Georgetown, Batavia, Cincinnati, Forest Park, Springfield, Reading, Harrison, and Montgomery.
Cincinnati Attorneys for Sex Crimes Investigations in Ohio
A person being investigated is not necessarily being charged. The purpose of an investigation is for law enforcement to compile enough evidence to file criminal charges against a suspect.
This is why you should consider hiring a criminal defense attorney from Joslyn Law Firm with experience in defending against this type of allegation—someone who can immediately step in to protect your rights.
If you are currently under investigation, we urge you to remain hyperaware of what you say or agree to do. Your statements, past criminal records, and decisions (such as agreeing to a polygraph test) can result in criminal charges.
The attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm start working for you early in the criminal justice process by being proactive in the investigative stages—aiming to divert criminal charges altogether.
Our lawyers know what it takes to handle sex offense cases. We are familiar with police investigative procedures and strategies and can advise you on the best route of action, possibly helping you avoid charges altogether.
Do not wait to reach out to our team. Call Joslyn Law Firm today at (513) 399-6289.
Sex Crimes Investigations in Cincinnati, Ohio Information Center
- Rape Kits: Analysis Used in Sex Crimes Investigations in Hamilton County
- Law Enforcement Interrogations Used in Sex Crimes Investigations in Ohio
- Polygraphs Testing in Cincinnati Sex Crimes Investigations
- Additional Resources for Sex Crimes Investigations in Cincinnati
- News About Sex Crimes Investigations in Ohio
- FAQs About Sex Crimes Investigations in Ohio
- Lawyer for Sex Crimes Investigations in Cincinnati, Ohio
An alleged victim can choose to see a medical professional for a rape kit examination. Often, if an alleged victim goes straight to law enforcement after the incident, an officer will transport them to a local hospital for this purpose.
Undergoing a rape kit examination does not necessarily mean the alleged victim will file a report. In some cases, a rape kit may not be as accurate if the alleged victim showered, cleaned any harmed areas, or changed clothes.
Understanding the Rape Kit Process
Rape kits vary based on the location they are performed, but most include the following:
- Instructions for the examiner
- Bags and large sheets of paper to collect evidence
- A comb used to collect hair and fiber from the victim’s body
- Sterile urine collection and other sample containers
- Nail picks, floss, or sticks for fingernail scrapings
- Swabs for biological evidence
- Sterile water and saline
- Documentation forms
- Glass slides
Prosecutors Can Use Rape Kits Against You
Understand that a viable rape kit constitutes strong evidence in court. Rape kits can develop a DNA profile unique to the alleged offender. If someone accused you of a sex crime and underwent a rape kit, you should strongly consider seeking the counsel of a sex crimes defense attorney from Joslyn Law Firm.
If law enforcement is investigating you for a sex crime, they will interrogate you at some point during the investigative process. Police conduct interviews of victims, possible witnesses, and suspects to gather evidence for the prosecution. Local law enforcement will use tactics and other investigative procedures to draw out any helpful information in their case.
Law enforcement will use different methods to obtain incriminating statements. You may feel confident about your memory of the event or your criminal past, but investigators’ calculated, interrogative techniques could cause you to trip over your words.
Having a criminal defense attorney from Joslyn Law Firm on your side can help you navigate these interrogations and protect you.
Understanding the Interrogation Process
The following are some factors that law enforcement considers when interviewing suspects:
- Prior criminal history, charged or uncharged
- Possible defenses to the crime
- Statements made by the victim(s)
- Statements made by the witness(es)
- Suspect’s explanation for any physical evidence
- Prior possible complaints made by victim(s) or witness(es)
- Suspect relationship to the victim(s) and witness(es)
- Suspect alibi/statement
- Age of the suspect, victim(s), and witness(es)
- The suspect’s demeanor and body language
- Statements that are consistent or inconsistent with other evidence
- Suspect’s access to the victim or crime scene when the alleged offense took place
Law enforcement often uses a polygraph test to gather evidence in their sex crime investigation. Otherwise known as a lie detector, a polygraph test is used to measure a person’s physiological reactions when asked a question. The purpose of the test is to show when a person gives a deceptive or false response.
Understanding the Polygraph Test
The typical polygraph will measure a person’s breathing rate, pulse, perspiration, and blood pressure. Normally, police conduct the procedure in a room with only the tester and subject present. A defense attorney from our team working on your behalf can select a private, well-respected polygraph examiner to administer the test.
The examiner will ask a series of questions while the alleged offender is connected to the machine. The theory behind the polygraph is to spot any increase in pulse or perspiration that might indicate nervousness. Some argue that these tests are unreliable since nervousness is not always indicative of guilt, and the results can sometimes be inaccurate.
Admissibility of Polygraph Tests in Court
In Ohio, most polygraph tests are ruled inadmissible in court. However, if all parties—including the defendant, defense attorney, and prosecutor—agree to advance the results, the court could be inclined to admit them.
In State v. Souel, Ohio’s Supreme Court ruled that courts can deem polygraph evidence admissible under the following circumstances:
- The prosecutor, defendant, and defense counsel must sign a written stipulation showing the defendant agrees to take the polygraph test and admit its results to trial.
- The admission of the test results is subject to the judge’s discretion. If the judge does not believe the polygraph examiner is qualified or conducted the test under proper conditions, the judge may refuse to admit the test results.
- Opposing counsel has the right to cross-examine the polygraph examiner at trial concerning their qualifications and training, the conditions under which they gave the polygraph test, the limitations and possibilities of error concerning the polygraph test results, and any other matter the judge deems pertinent.
- If the judge admits the test results, the trial judge must instruct the jury that the examiner's testimony does not tend to prove or disprove any element of the defendant’s alleged crime and that they must determine what weight and effect to give the
Most attorneys will advise you to avoid a polygraph test. A polygraph test is an opportunity to interrogate you, and the results are not always trustworthy. Police officers may also ask you to make statements before or after testing.
RAINN is the home of the National Sexual Assault Hotline. It’s free and confidential, and it can refer victims to local sexual assault service providers that can help after a sex crime.
Visit End the Backlog, a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to advocate for the testing of backlogged rape kits throughout the United States. See Ohio’s current status for its rape kit backlog, current legislation for rape kits in general, and plans to advocate for sex crime victims.
Visit the Ohio Attorney General (AG) website and read about the department’s Special Investigations Unit, which includes their sex crimes division. See more information on the office’s investigative services, such as the polygraph unit, the criminal intelligence unit, and the missing persons unit.
Ohio Attorney General’s Trauma Informed Sexual Assault Investigation: Realities and Investigative Strategies
The Ohio AG’s Interpersonal Violence Response Training Team offers this training event for prosecutors and law enforcement to improve their response to victims of sexual assault. The course, approved by the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Continuing Education, guides participants on:
- Conducting victim interviews
- Identifying the role of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner
- Understanding how sexual assault trauma affects victims’ memory, behavior, and reactions
- The effect that law enforcement’s decisions impact how an investigation progresses
- Other essential aspects of training for the investigation of this type of offense
This court decision sheds light on how Ohio courts consider testimony evidence and prosecutor conduct in court. Randy Hall, who was found guilty of five counts of rape and two counts of gross sexual imposition, appealed this verdict. In his appeal, he said there were four errors in his trial, including:
- The weight and sufficiency of the evidence that supported his convictions
- A detective’s testimony being presented as “expert”
- Prosecutorial misconduct
- The application of the state’s rape-shield statute, which prevented defense counsel’s access to evidence.
The appellate court sustained Hall’s first and third assignments of error, resulting in the reversal of the case’s judgment.
March 3, 2021
Andrew G. Gonnella stands accused of sexually assaulting a child in Sweden when he traveled to the country, reports the Springfield News-Sun. He was arrested in Columbus, where he now awaits extradition to Sweden. An international fugitive investigation comprised the Swedish government, INTERPOL, the FBI, U.S. Marshal’s Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team, and Eaton Police. Gonnella faces charges of gross sexual assault of a child and gross rape of a child.
March 1, 2021
3 WKYC staff reported the indictment of Euclid Police Officer Donald Ivory. A complaint of criminal wrongdoing to a minor was filed against the officer, immediately prompting a criminal investigation into the allegations. During the investigation, Ivory was placed on paid administrative leave. Following the investigation’s conclusion, the grand jury indicted Ivory on seven counts, including one of attempted rape, three of gross sexual imposition, one of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, one of tampering with evidence, and one of intimidating a victims.
February 25, 2021
Dayton investigators found that Jason C. Davis advertised on websites his willingness to engage in sexual conduct at his home, free of charge. He also failed to include one detail—that he has HIV, reports FOX8. The monthlong investigation left investigators worried that other people might have taken Davis up on his offer, unaware of his HIV status.
The Dayton Police Department urges those who think they might have engaged in sexual conduct with Davis to seek immediate testing. Meanwhile, Davis faces a single count of felonious assault, as well as a charge of possession of criminal tools (accounting for items he used at his residence to enable the crime).
February 24, 2021
A Columbus man, Daniel P. Heintz, was charged with the federal crime of advertising for and receiving child pornography, according to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). Heintz is a Franklin County corrections officer who allegedly communicated online with an Illinois man, exchanging child pornography and a sexually explicit video from the Illinois man of a teenage girl.
Heintz also referred to his ideas of sexually abusing a minor to whom he had access. Police executed search warrants at Heintz’s work and of his person. The search yielded hundreds of images of minors—some toddlers—being sexually abused. If he is convicted, Heintz faces a mandatory prison term of five years, minimum, as well as supervised release for the rest of his life, and required registration as a sex offender.
February 18, 2021
Steven Finch II has been indicted by a Wood County grand jury following a police investigation of his case, according to an article from WTOL11. Finch now faces 30 rape charges—one for each month between August 2019 and November 20—for various forms of sexual assault against his wife.
Of those charges, 19 carry a punishment of life in prison with no possibility of parole. The other charges, including kidnapping and first-degree rape, carry a sentence of up to 16 years in prison. A felonious assault in the second-degree charge carries a maximum sentence of 12 years. Prosecutors are attaching a sexually violent predator specification to the charges.
In total, Finch faces 209 mandatory years and up to 312 years in prison—even without the sexually violent predator specification—if convicted.
Q: What Are Some Common Investigative Techniques Used in Sex Crimes Investigations?
A: Law enforcement can use any of a wide variety of investigative techniques when investigating sex crimes. Some common tactics include polygraph tests, rape kits, and interrogations.
Q: Should I Take a Polygraph Test?
A: We typically advise our clients against taking a polygraph test. These tests open the door for law enforcement to interrogate you. Furthermore, polygraph analyses are not always reliable. A person might fail a polygraph test because they are nervous, and their nervous symptoms might read as deception.
Q: Are Polygraph Tests Admissible in Court?
A: In Ohio, polygraph test analyses are admissible in court only if all parties agree in a stipulation—before the test is given—to such use. The court might then admit the evidence, but the decision is the judge’s choice to make. Furthermore, the prosecution has the right to cross-examine the polygraph examiner at trial to call into question the examiner’s training and credentials.
Q: What Are Investigators Checking for When They Interrogate a Suspect?
A: When law enforcement interrogates you for a sex crime, they are noting your answers to questions and checking for a wide variety of factors, including:
- Your body language
- Your explanations for the evidence against you
- Your alibi
- Your relationship with the victim
- Your general demeanor
- Any inconsistencies between what you say and other evidence
It is easy—and common—during interrogation for nerves to get the better of you and prompt you to say or do the wrong thing. This is why it is a good idea to have a lawyer from our team by your side to guide you through this process and protect your rights.
Q: Should I Be Worried if a Rape Kit Exists for a Sex Crime of Which I Have Been Accused?
A: Rape kits serve as extremely strong evidence in court, primarily because these analyses can directly connect the evidence to the precise DNA of the offender. If the victim in your case has undergone a rape kit, strongly consider hiring a criminal defense lawyer from our firm to protect your rights.
All criminal charges begin with an investigation. Just because law enforcement investigates a person does not mean they will be charged with a criminal offense. Be proactive in protecting your freedoms. Call Joslyn Law Firm, a criminal defense firm with the experience required to make the best of an investigation against you.
Keep quiet with law enforcement, asserting your right to remain silent, and contact Joslyn Law Firm.
A Law Firm That Knows Ohio Police Investigative Tactics
Our attorneys are familiar with all types of tactics and techniques used by law enforcement. We are passionate about defense, and we will do everything in our power to help you.
Joslyn Law Firm has more than 20 years of combined experience in handling cases throughout the southern Ohio region. We understand how to speak to police officers and what to avoid when a person is being investigated.
Our attorneys are familiar with local law enforcement throughout the greater Hamilton County area, including Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and Cincinnati Police Departments.
Lawyers with Reach in Hamilton County and Nearby Counties
Joslyn Law Firm advises clients during sex crimes investigations throughout the Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington metropolitan area and nearby counties, including Georgetown in Brown County, Cincinnati in Hamilton County, Batavia in Clermont County, and Wilmington in Clinton County.
Call us at (513) 399-6289 for a free consultation on your case.