Sexual Battery Defenses in Cincinnati

Sexual battery charges in Ohio carry the risk of severe penalties and punishment. A person convicted of sexual battery in Cincinnati generally faces third-degree felony charges, which could mean up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

If you have been arrested or charged with sexual battery, consider hiring a defense lawyer who has handled this type of case and can craft a defense strategy on your behalf. Brian Joslyn and the Joslyn Law Firm team have received multiple honors and awards that speak to their ability to represent your case with skill, integrity, and passion.

Brian Joslyn has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers for excellence in practice. The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys has also acknowledged Joslyn’s excellence in the field of criminal law with a Nationally Ranked Top 10 Under 40 Attorney Award.

We Bring Extensive Experience to Defending Your Sexual Battery Charge

Joslyn Law Firm is passionate about defending Ohio residents accused of a wide variety of criminal charges, including sexual battery. To date, this number exceeds 20,000 cases. Our firm represents clients in and around Cincinnati, including other areas that make up Hamilton County and surrounding counties.

Our attorneys understand the seriousness of a sexual battery charge. We will apply the knowledge we have gained through our years of successful criminal defense outcomes to your case, building a defense strategy best suited to the facts at hand.

Brian Joslyn defends his clients with a passion rooted in his personal experience with police brutality as a teen. Ever since this incident, Brian Joslyn has committed himself to protecting others’ rights. With Joslyn Law Firm on your side, you get the benefit of knowledge, experience, skill, compassion, and a sincere belief that you are “innocent until proven guilty.”

Joslyn Law Firm’s entire team dedicates itself to sparing clients of the significant consequences of a criminal conviction. In the case of sexual battery, a conviction can mean up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. We know the sexual battery defenses in Cincinnati that will be most effective in your case.

Call Joslyn Law Firm today for a free consultation at (513) 399-6289.

Sexual Battery Defenses in Cincinnati Information Center

Joslyn Law Firm’s Cincinnati Information Center for Ohio Sexual Battery Charges provides a comprehensive overview of Ohio sexual battery charges. This information center addresses sexual battery charges levied under Ohio Revised Code § 2907.03 directly.


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Defeating the Mens Rea

For the prosecution to prove a case of sexual battery, they must prove intent on the defendant’s behalf when they touched the alleged victim’s intimate parts. They also must confirm that the victim did not consent to this touching or sexual penetration.

Mens rea, Latin for “guilty mind,” speaks to the defendant’s mental state when the sexual battery occurred. It accounts for intent and whether the alleged perpetrator knew their action constituted a crime.

Intoxication and Mens Rea

A possible way around mens rea can manifest in cases of intoxication. Ohio courts do not generally accept intoxication as a defense for criminal behavior. However, if the alleged offender lacked awareness of the victim’s inability to consent, this could form the basis for a valid defense.

Furthermore, if both the alleged offender and the alleged victim happened to be deeply intoxicated at the time of the alleged sexual battery, presenting this element in the defense could promote a chance of defeating the mens rea.

Mental Incapacities and Mens Rea

The same holds if our criminal defense attorneys can show that the accused suffered from specific mental incapacities. By investigating the alleged sexual battery, we might also uncover other scenarios that indicate that a reasonable person—in that same situation—would have interpreted the victim’s behavior as consent.

When we investigate your case, we will look for ways to argue that you lacked the “guilty mind,” or mental intent required to constitute a charge of sexual battery.


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Consent

A consent defense means what it says: the alleged victim consented to the sexual activity, and therefore, the criminal offense of battery, which requires that the act happened against the victim’s will, did not take place.

As your attorney, we can argue that the other party consented to the sexual activity in question. One way to approach this defense is by presenting evidence of the victim’s sexual history.

Exceptions to Consent

Your defense attorney needs to understand Ohio’s specific laws defining consent. In Ohio, one cannot argue consent if the alleged victim:

  • Has a mental disability
  • Was mentally incapacitated (was temporarily unable to grasp or control conduct due to intoxication or use of a controlled substance)
  • Was physically unconscious (or otherwise helpless and unable to convey a lack of consent)
  • Not an adult 

Minors Cannot Give Consent 

Note that in Ohio, consent does not apply if the alleged victim is under the age of 16. According to Ohio Revised Code § 2907, minors cannot give consent to sexual activities.

 Even if they agree to sex, the action is illegal, and the alleged offender can receive a sexual battery charge. If the alleged victim is under age 13, this offense is a second-degree felony.


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Marriage

Under Ohio’s laws, marriage constitutes a complete defense to every category of sexual battery, with specific provisions. When the alleged offense occurred, the individuals must have been legally married under state law, whether in Ohio or elsewhere. 

However, the marriage defense does not come into play if the state considers the parties’ marriage void. This is the case with marriages where one party is under 16 years old.

 Furthermore, if the individuals involved in the sexual activity have filed a petition for legal separation, annulment, or divorce—or if they are separated—Ohio law does not consider the parties to be married. In this case, marriage does not apply as a sexual battery defense in Cincinnati.


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>4th Amendment

Any criminal case can rest its defense on violations of the defendant’s constitutional rights.

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. This generally means that investigators must have either a valid warrant or probable cause before they can search a person, their home, or their property.

Evidence obtained in violation of these requirements is unlawful, and defense counsel can file a motion to suppress that evidence. Furthermore, the court considers any evidence that prosecutors would not otherwise have discovered without the unlawful evidence “fruit of the poison tree.” The court will likely throw this evidence out.

When police and prosecutors investigate sexual assault accusations, they generally rely on a great deal of evidence, not the least of which involves DNA and other biological evidence. Without this proof, a prosecutor will have a hard time getting a conviction.

In sexual battery cases, the alleged victims often submit to rape kits, yielding the alleged attackers’ DNA. However, to obtain a sample of the defendant’s DNA—necessary for matching against findings in the rape kit—investigators must still obtain a warrant and follow Ohio’s laws for obtaining evidence. 

In the absence of such compliance, the defendant’s DNA can be excluded from the prosecution’s evidence, thereby crippling their case, potentially resulting in a dismissal of sexual battery charges.


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Statute of Limitations

As with most states, Ohio’s statute of limitations restricts sexual battery charges. Ohio Revised Code § 2901.13 requires prosecutors to bring charges against an alleged offender within 25 years of the alleged offense—or 25 years after the alleged victim reaches age 18. However, if a DNA match presents itself, the statute can be longer.

If this timeframe expires, prosecutors cannot charge an individual with sexual battery, regardless of DNA matches or other evidence. There are exceptions to the statute of limitations, and an attorney from our firm can explain them during a consultation.


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Ohio Resources for Defenses to Sexual Battery Charges

Ohio Revised Code § 2907.03 (Sexual Battery)

The Ohio Revised Code § 2907.03 presents the letter of Ohio law regarding sexual battery offenses. Review this page to learn how the state defines sexual battery and understand the definitions of terms used throughout legal references to this offense.

This resource also details the state’s approach to charging violations of this law. Other Ohio Revised Codes can give you an in-depth perspective on how the state charges this relative to other sex offenses.

State v. Mole

In 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a part of the state’s sexual battery statute was unconstitutional in its application to police officers. The state’s laws render unlawful sexual conduct in certain situations, including those involving a jailer and inmate, teacher and student, and cleric and minor parishioner.

The statute also included sexual conduct between a peace officer and a minor if the officer is more than two years older than the minor. The Supreme Court found this last provision unconstitutional in that it failed to establish a connection between the peace officer’s classification and the described act of sexual conduct. 

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)

 This national anti-sexual violence organization offers a National Sexual Assault Hotline. Individuals in crisis related to sexual battery or another form of sexual assault can reach the hotline at 800.656.HOPE or by visiting online.rainn.org.

A partnership of 1,000-plus sexual assault services across the U.S. provides this service. RAINN also offers a range of programs aimed at preventing sexual violence, assisting survivors of sexual violence, and bringing offenders to justice.

Ohio Sexual Violence Helpline

The Ohio Sexual Violence Helpline offers confidential support, 24/7, for sexual violence survivors in Ohio. Trained staff answer the helpline—844.OHIO.HELP—to provide emotional support, details about local resources, and render crisis response. 

The service’s objective is to fill in the gaps in parts of Ohio that do not benefit from a local helpline and connect callers with local resources where they can get more help. 

Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence (OAESV)

The OAESV operates as a statewide coalition that advocates for services and responses for survivors of rape and seeks to empower communities to end sexual violence.

The coalition executes its vision of an Ohio free of sexual violence through campaigns to increase public awareness of this issue and shape and inform public policy.

A multidisciplinary Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT) collaborates with service providers and aims to deepen networking and communication to fill in the gaps needed to help survivors of sexual violence.


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Sexual Battery Defenses News in Ohio

December 31, 2020

Former Greene County Corrections Officer Accused of Sexual Battery

Dayton Daily News reported that a former Greene County corrections officer was charged with sexual battery. While he served at the Greene County jail, Antonio C. Goodman allegedly forced an inmate into sexual conduct. Incidents against the female inmate took place between July 3, 2019, and February 25, 2020. When the jail supervisors discovered the sexual conduct, the sheriff’s office launched an investigation. They arrested Goodman, then released him on a recognizance bond. The alleged victim also filed a civil lawsuit against Goodman for at least $25,000 in damages. 

December 11, 2020

Hamilton Doctor Indicted on 26 Sex-Related Charges After Investigation into Patient Claims

A man accused of inappropriately touching patients and engaging in misconduct was indicted on 26 sex-related charges, reported 9ABC WCPO Cincinnati. The man, Stephen Boyd, is a Hamilton chiropractor who allegedly preyed on patients for 23 years. Complaints led to an investigation, which resulted in Boyd being indicted on “12 counts of gross sexual imposition, seven counts of sexual battery, four counts of rape, two counts of attempted sexual battery, and one count of attempted rape.” He was issued a $200,000 bond. Boyd put up his business and home properties—valued at $400,000—as bond.

August 31, 2020

Prison Sentence Reduced for Former Ohio State Diving Club Coach in Sexual Battery Case

In August 2020, an Ohio State diving club coach was sentenced to a prison term of four years after pleading guilty to sexual battery charges. The sentence has now been reduced, meaning the offender, William Bohonyi, will serve only six months at a facility for non-violent felony offenders, reports CBS 10 WBNS. Bohonyi had spent a year in prison, but his lawyer appealed to the judge for the man’s early release due to multiple diagnoses and the threat of COVID-19. Because prosecutors pointed out that Bohonyi had threatened his victim via text, the judge denied the defense’s request. However, Bohonyi will be transferred to a state-run alternative to prison. After his release, he will have to register as a sex offender.

August 28, 2020

Springboro Businessman Found Guilty on 7 Rape, Sexual Battery Charges

Butler County’s Journal-News reported that a court found Timothy G. Hall of Clearcreek Township guilty of four counts of rape and three counts of sexual battery. The judge denied bond as he awaited sentencing, which will consist of a mandatory life sentence. The punishment corresponds with Hall’s alleged forcible rape of a minor under the age of 12. Additional charges against Hall were dropped before his trial because of Ohio law’s changed definition of “sexual conduct.” The testimony offered by Hall’s accuser in the dropped charges revealed that prosecutors had charged him under the wrong section of Ohio’s law.


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Q&As About Sexual Battery Defenses in Cincinnati

Q. What are defenses to sexual battery?

  1. A Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer from our firm can present multiple defenses to sexual battery charges. Common defense strategies include:
  • Marriage
  • Expiration of statute of limitations
  • Consent
  • Fourth Amendment Violations
  • Defeating the mens rea

Q. Is consent a defense to sexual battery?

  1. Yes, consent is a valid defense to sexual battery in Ohio. Exceptions do exist, however. For example, if the alleged victim was under the age of 16 at the time of the sexual conduct, they consent to such activity lawfully. As such, we cannot argue consent as a defense.

Exceptions to consent also apply when the alleged victim was:

  • Mentally disabled
  • Mentally incapacitated
  • Physically unconscious or unable to express lack of consent

Q. Can marriage be a defense against sexual battery allegations?

  1. Yes, in Cincinnati, marriage is considered a defense against all categories of sexual battery when the two parties involved in the sexual conduct were legally married at the time of the incident. For the state to deem a marriage valid, it must not include an individual under 16 years old. Also, neither party involved can have filed a petition for divorce, legal separation, or annulment, nor could they have been separated at the time of the sexual conduct.

Q. What is the statute of limitations for sexual battery charges in Ohio?

  1. The statute of limitations for sexual battery charges in Ohio is 25 years from the date of the alleged offense or from the date that the alleged victim turns 18 years old. The statute can be longer if a DNA match exists.

Q. How does the evidence impact criminal charges of sexual battery?

  1. The prosecutor in a sexual battery case must present evidence that sufficiently accomplishes two things: it must corroborate the alleged victim’s testimony, and it must establish the various elements of the subcategory of the defendant's sexual battery charge. For example, in the case of a strict liability offense, the prosecutor must prove two elements—the relationship (teacher-student, clergy-minor parishioner, etc.) and the fact that sexual conduct transpired. With other categories of sexual battery, the prosecutor must establish the defendant’s “guilty mind” or mens rea.

Q. Where can I find more information about sexual battery defenses in Cincinnati?

  1. You can review the Ohio Revised Code 2907.03 on sexual battery. This document explains how the state defines sexual battery, and it further provides definitions for all the terms used within the state’s sex offense laws.

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>Lawyer for Defenses to Sexual Battery in Cincinnati

Joslyn Law Firm strongly believes in protecting every individual’s rights, especially when those rights involve the criminal justice system. We serve our clients passionately and without judgment. In our eyes, every criminal defendant is innocent until proven guilty.

We will put our many years of defending the accused people of Ohio to work for you. We can devise a defense strategy for your case with our experience in defending against sexual battery and other sex offenses.

Call Joslyn Law Firm today for a case review at (513) 399-6289.


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