Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor Defenses in Cincinnati

Finding the proper defense attorney to help you defend an accusation of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor can be the difference between life in prison and the dismissal of a case. Joslyn Law Firm has successfully managed over 15,000 criminal defense cases, and our team continuously takes home the title as top defense lawyers in Ohio. Not to mention, we also took the Gold for the Clients Champion in 2020. Our recognitions are a reflection of the dedication we put into each one of our clients' cases.

When we build your defense, we approach each angle with the intent to win. Building a strong defense is more than just proving the prosecution wrong. We implement years of experience to provide our clients with the best protection against violations of their rights. Joslyn Law Firm works to advocate a fair trial, with the plan of making sure you get the lowest sentence possible or dismissal. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

Your Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyer

Have you been accused of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in Cincinnati? You do not have to try to figure out the legal process on your own. Joslyn Law Firm can work with you to build the defense needed to potentially lower your charges. Do not fall victim to the outcry that can follow an accusation such as this. Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor is a very serious crime, and the outcome of a case is best left in the hands of experienced professionals.

Contact us today at (614)‌ ‌444-1900 for a free case evaluation. We might be able to help you build a defense to get your charges lowered or dropped. Do not assume the worst when you can have a law firm on your side. Joslyn Law Firm is here to help.

Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor Defenses Information Center


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Overview of Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor

Consent is arguably the most critical factor in any criminal sexual conduct case. However, when there is a minor involved, the situation becomes much more complex.

Ohio’s Statutory Rape law (Ohio Revised Code section 2907.04) states that no one 18 years or older may legally "engage in sexual conduct" with anyone under 16. The statutory rape law is in place for minors 13 to 16 years of age—unlawful sexual conduct with a minor is a fourth-degree felony under this code. 

Other rules in the age consent law include:

  • If the offender is less than four years older than the minor they have unlawful sexual conduct with, they may face a first-degree misdemeanor.
  • If the offender is ten or more years older than the minor, they may face a third-degree felony.
  • If the offender has prior convictions of rape or sexual battery, they may face a second-degree felony.

If the minor is under 13 years old, this classifies as rape and carries much heftier penalties. The accused may face life in prison, except for an offender who is 16 years old or younger. If the offender has a previous record, is more than ten years older than the minor, the minor was injured, or is under the age of 10, the accused may face life in prison without parole.

The charges change if the defendant is a school employee or carries any temporary disciplinary position such as a troop leader, babysitter, coach, or mental health care provider. In these cases, it is classified as sexual battery, defined under Ohio Revised Code section 2907.03. They will face felony charges if found guilty, but the severity of those charges depends on the factors of the case.

Allegations of any unlawful sexual conduct with a minor are serious, no matter if the minor consented or not. A defendant's ease of life and reputation depend on the strength of their defense, and Joslyn Law Firm is prepared to do what needs to be done to protect you as best as we can. 


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Credibility of Accuser

Credibility is a sensitive subject when dealing with these allegations. When a child or minor accuses someone of sexual abuse, there is a lot more to the process than a trial. The child will be thoroughly examined by mental health and social service professionals to determine their mental state. This examination extends to home life and other outside factors that might affect a child's judgment. 

These professionals are sent to ensure that the child is safe, and the results of their examinations will help determine your innocence or guilt. There are many reasons to question a child's credibility.

Here are a couple of arguments that a defense can present within the credibility defense in this case:

The Child is Lying

A child may lie about sexual abuse if they are angry, looking for acceptance, revenge, or they may even not understand what sexual conduct is. This is another reason people examine and question the minor. They want to make sure these are not the underlying factors behind the accusations.

Exaggeration

This can reflect a minor's lack of knowledge of what sexual conduct is. Also, while exaggeration differs from lying, it still may follow the same motives. A sexual encounter with a minor that consented and then exaggerated the offense can also cause grave repercussions, but it might get your sentence and charges lowered. Depending on the factors of the case, a defense team will figure which direction is best to take when trying to find out why a minor would exaggerate.

Adult Influence

There are many reasons an adult would manipulate a child into lying about a sexual interaction between them and an accused person. None of them are acceptable, and you should approach each with care. If the adult is pressuring a child to say a defendant sexually abused them in any way, there is a higher probability that other unhealthy situations are affecting the child. Common reasons for an adult to manipulate a child are divorce, revenge, money, and custody, among others.

If a parent or guardian forces a child to lie in court, they may face perjury charges if the defendant is found not guilty, which carries a felony charge. The only way a defendant can counter sue in these cases is if they are proven innocent, which is why it can help to hire a Cincinnati defense lawyer to help with your case.

It is important to understand the law when facing the court. Allegations of sexual misconduct of any kind can create more than a prison term or shatter criminal records. It also comes with other life-altering consequences such as sex offender registration, travel limitations, employment limitations, and even limitations on registering for certain universities and colleges. Once a case like this becomes public, there is typically a level of public judgment that can make life that much more challenging, too.

When you hire Joslyn Law Firm's criminal defense attorneys, you are getting a team of lawyers who are not afraid to stand up for your rights—no matter the circumstances involved. When we take your case, you can assure that we will handle your defense with the care it deserves so you can live a more peaceful life. Call our offices today to receive your free consultation. We are here to help you through these trying times. 


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Violation of Fourth Amendment Rights

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution was established to protect people from the government. It provides a right to privacy and protection from excessive force from law enforcement when conducting search and seizure practices. Police officers are supposed to have probable cause to search anyone's personal belongings and properties. This probable cause gives law enforcement access to warrants as well. There is no warrant without probable cause, and they should not be searching any of your personal space unless invited to do so. 

The Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act (EARN IT Act) was signed in 2020, promoting the voluntary scanning of user files on the internet—social media, email, cloud, etc.—for child sexual abuse materials (CSAM).

This material is compared to a child pornography database at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). This is supposed to help lower the sexual exploitation of children but some have argued otherwise. Experts have questioned the Act’s legality under the Fourth Amendment. Therefore, if your case involves any online evidence, we will need to investigate how it was gathered further. 

Private service providers such as Google or Microsoft are not government officials and cannot violate your Fourth Amendment rights. Depending on the circumstances, as always, there may be a way to have the evidence gathered through their scanning dismissed. These are incredibly tenuous terms that a legal professional can help you navigate properly.

This is only one example of how the Fourth Amendment defense may hold up in court. It may seem tedious, but we know what needs to be done in any defense, no matter how fresh or ripe the law is. We stay up to date to make sure you are covered.


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Mistaken Identity

The internet has opened up more space for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor to occur. This also creates more room for mistaken identity. Mistaken identity can also be due to the incident’s location, lighting, chemical restraints, visibility restraints, among other forms of phycological impairments sexual abuse can create in any scenario.

Presenting the mistaken identity defense usually establishes some reasonable doubt, which can deteriorate a prosecution's argument. For a defendant to be deemed guilty of any crime, the judge and jury must believe, without a reasonable doubt, they committed the crime. This defense puts the ball in the prosecutor's court.

This defense also requires solid back up and character defense. DNA plays an enormous role in mistaken identity as well. However, you cannot wait until the last minute to establish this defense. During your case's discovery process, you will have to provide the prosecution with all of your evidence. This gives them the opportunity to find holes and weaknesses in your defense and provide them with access to the witnesses you may have.

These witnesses will also be investigated for credibility. You do not want to choose character witnesses whose characters are questionable either, as it can be a sure way to damage your defense in these matters. 


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Alibi

Ohio Revised Code section 2945.58 states that an alibi must be presented to the prosecution no later than seven days before the trial. As mentioned above, this allows them to cross-examine and investigate your alibis. An alibi can both strengthen and weaken your case, so it is best to get your defense attorney to challenge them before presenting them to the prosecution to make sure they are on the positive side of your defense. 

These are the ways to prove alibis to support your defense:

Family and Friends

Friends and family are best used as reinforcement to an alibi as their testimony can be viewed as bias, creating doubt on your defense. The question rises to whether they would be willing to lie on your behalf to try and strengthen your case.

Strangers

These are witnesses that may have seen you at the location you are claiming to have been when the situation happened: waitresses, store clerks, etc. This is a strong defense as long as their character witnesses hold, which you will want to supply to the court. Every ounce of information and testimony should have support in credibility.

Material Alibis

Receipts, computer data, cell phone location tracking data are all examples of material alibis. These small bits of information may be the deciding factor in a guilty or not guilty charge. If you have a stranger alibi that states you were at a restaurant at the time of the crime with your mom, who also testifies, and you also present a receipt of the food you paid for, chances are you have a strong enough alibi scenario to clear you of being at the scene of the crime. 


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Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about unlawful sexual conduct with a minor defenses.

What if I didn’t know the person was a minor? 

If you didn’t know the person was a minor, you can claim the mistake of age defense in your unlawful sexual conduct with a minor case. They might have lied to you about their age, showed you a fake I.D., or otherwise misled you to believe they were over 16 years old.

While this can be a good addition to a case, you most likely would not be able to use it as a defense alone under Ohio law. 

Can I still be charged if the minor and I say we consented to sexual conduct?

Even if the minor says they consented to sexual conduct, this is not an adequate defense against an unlawful sexual conduct with a minor charge. This is because the law says that anyone under the age of 16 in Ohio is unable to consent to sex. 

Therefore, you can still be charged, even if both parties consented. 

What if we were close to the same age?

Generally, we can argue for a lower penalty the lower the distance between the age of the parties. For example, an 18-year-old engaging in unlawful sexual conduct with a 15-year-old might be penalized less harshly than if the victim were 13 or younger. 

Can I get a lesser charge under the Romeo and Juliet law?

Ohio’s statutory rape law has a provision for those with less than a four-year age difference, sometimes referred to as the “Romeo and Juliet law.” So, for example, if you were 18 and the person you had unlawful sexual conduct with was 15, you might be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor instead of a felony. 

This all depends on the circumstances of the case, and it might benefit you to hire a criminal defense lawyer from our firm to better explain these defenses.


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Joslyn Law Firm: Cincinnati Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor Defense Lawyer

Making sure you are protected in an unlawful sexual conduct with a minor case is undeniably important. Joslyn Law Firm is here to help you strengthen your case and use your defense to lower or even dismiss those charges. 

Contact us today at (614)‌ ‌444-1900 for a free consultation. We want to make sure, above all, that we are protecting your rights. Everyone has a right to a fair trial no matter the circumstances, and you are innocent until proven guilty. Do not be intimidated—let Joslyn Law Firm advocate on your behalf. We know what it takes to defend you in a court of law.


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