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Sexually Violent Predator

If you are subject to enhanced penalties as a Sexually Violent Predator under R.C. 2971.02, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

When the indictment or information charging the defendant with a sexually violent offense as defined in R.C. 2971.01(G) also contains a specification, pursuant to R.C. 2941.148, that the defendant is a sexually violent predator, then upon a determination of guilt with respect to both the sexually violent offense and the sexually violent predator specification, the court shall impose enhanced sentencing requirements as provided for in R.C. 2971.03.

Under R.C. 2971.02, the defendant has the option of having either the court or the jury determine whether he/she is a sexually violent predator. If the defendant does not elect to have the court determine the R.C. 2941.148 specification, the defendant shall be tried before the jury on the sexually violent offense and, if found guilty, shall then be tried before the jury on the sexually violent predator specification.

The sexually violent predator specification applies only to sexually violent offenses committed on and after January 1, 1997.

Sexually Violent Predator Designation in Cincinnati, OH

After the defendant is found guilty of a specify sexually violent offense, the jury is also asked to decide the specification contained in the indictment or information, if the charging document specified that the defendant is a sexually violent predator. Before the jury can find that the defendant is a sexually violent predator, the jury must find beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant has previously been convicted of or pleaded guilty to committing a sexually violent offense and is likely to engage in the future in one or more sexually violent offenses.

The term “sexually violent offense” is defined to mean a violent sex offense, or a designated homicide, assault, or kidnapping offense for which the offender also was convicted of or pleaded guilty to a sexual motivation specification.

Likelihood of Engaging in a Sexually Violent Offense

The following factors can be considered as evidence tending to indicate that there is a likelihood that the defendant will engage in the future in one or more sexually violent offenses:

  • whether the defendant has previously been convicted two or more times, in separate criminal actions other than the pending the action, of a sexually oriented offense or a child-victim oriented offense (convictions that result from or are connected with the same act or result from offenses committed at the same time are one conviction);
  • whether the defendant has a documented history from childhood into the juvenile developmental years that exhibits sexually deviant behavior; 
  • whether available information or evidence suggests that the defendant chronically commits offenses with a sexual motivation;
  • whether the defendant has committed one or more offenses in which the defendant has tortured or engaged in ritualistic acts with one or more victims;
  • whether the defendant has committed one or more offenses in which one or more victims were physically harmed to the degree that the particular victim's life was in jeopardy; and
  • any other relevant evidence.

R.C. 2971.01(H)(2)(a) states that a conviction that has been set aside pursuant to law shall not be considered a conviction for purposes of determining whether the defendant is a sexually violent predator.

The jury instructions for sexually violent predators are found in 2 OJI-CR 507.71 for all offenses committed on and after January 1, 1997, and revised on May 7, 2011.

This article was last updated on Monday, March 13, 2017.