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Statutes of Limitations

Sexual Offense Statutes

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2907.02 Rape

  • Felony of the first degree
    • No person shall engage in sexual conduct with another who is not the spouse of the offender or who is the spouse of the offender but is living separate and apart from the offender, when:
      • The offender substantially impairs the other person’s judgment or control by administering any drug, intoxicant, or controlled substance to the other person surreptitiously or by force, threat of force, or deception.
      • The victim is less than thirteen years of age.
      • The victim’s ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age.
    • The victim’s ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age and the offender has knowledge of this or reasonable cause to believe this.
    • No person shall engage in sexual conduct with another when the offender purposely compels the victim to submit by force or threat of force. Marriage or cohabitation is not a defense.

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2907.03 Sexual battery

  • Felony of the second degree if victim is under 13. Otherwise, felony of the third degree.
    • No person shall engage in sexual conduct with another, not the spouse of the offender, when any of the following apply:
      • The offender knowingly coerces the victim to submit by any means that would prevent resistance by a person of ordinary resolution.
      • The offender knows that the victim’s ability to appraise the nature of or control the  victim’s own conduct is substantially impaired.
      • The offender knows that the victim submits because the victim is unaware that the act is being committed.
      • The offender knows that the victim submits because the victim mistakenly identifies the offender as the other person’s spouse.
      • The offender is the victim’s natural or adoptive parent or guardian.
      • The victim is in custody of law or a patient in a hospital or other institution, and the offender has supervisory or disciplinary authority over the other person.
      • The offender is a teacher, administrator, coach, or other person in authority employed by or serving in a school.
      • The victim is a minor, the offender is a teacher, administrator, coach, or other person in authority.
      • The victim is a minor, and the offender is the other person’s athletic or other type of coach, is the other person’s instructor, or is the leader of a scouting troop.
      • The offender is a mental health professional; the victim is a mental health client or patient of the offender.
      • The victim is confined in a detention facility, and the offender is an employee of that detention facility.
      • The victim is a minor and the offender is a cleric.
      • The victim is a minor, the offender is a peace officer, and the offender is more than two years older than the other person.
  • Otherwise, felony of the third degree

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2907.04 Unlawful sexual conduct with minor

  • No person who is eighteen years of age or older shall engage in sexual conduct with another, who is not the spouse of the offender, when the offender knows the victim is thirteen years of age or older but less than sixteen years of age, or the offender is reckless in that regard.
  • Misdemeanor of the first degree if offender is less than four years older than victim
  • Felony of the third degree if offender is ten or more years older than victim
  • Felony of the second degree if offender has previously been convicted of rape (§ 2907.02), sexual battery (§ 2907.03), or unlawful sexual conduct with a minor (§ 2907.04) 
  • Otherwise, felony of the fourth degree

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2907.05 Gross sexual imposition

  • Felony of the fourth degree if offender has or causes someone else to have sexual contact with victim, and:
    • Offender purposely compels victim to submit by force or threat of force, or
    • Offender substantially impairs the judgment or control of victim by administering any drug, intoxicant, or controlled substance to victim for the purpose of preventing resistance, or
    • Offender knows that the judgment or control of victim is substantially impaired as the result of the influence of any drug or intoxicant administered to victim with victim’s consent for the purpose of any kind of medical or dental examination, treatment, or surgery, or
    • The ability of victim to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age, and offender knows or has reasonable cause to believe this
  • Felony of the third degree if offender has or causes someone else to have sexual contact with victim, and:
    • Offender substantially impairs the judgment or control of victim by administering any controlled substance to victim surreptitiously or by force, threat of force, or deception,
    • Victim is under 13, or
    • Offender touches the genitalia of victim less than 12 with intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2907.06 Sexual imposition

  • Misdemeanor of the first degree if offender has previously been convicted of rape (§ 2907.02), sexual battery (§ 2907.03), or unlawful sexual conduct with a minor (§ 2907.04) , or gross sexual imposition (§ 2907.05)
  • No person shall have sexual contact with another when any of the following applies:
    • The offender knows that the sexual contact is offensive to the victim.
    • The offender knows that the victim’s ability to appraise the nature of or control the offender’s or touching person’s conduct is substantially impaired.
    • The offender knows that the victim submits because of being unaware of the sexual contact.
    • The victim is thirteen years of age or older but less than sixteen years of age and the offender is at least eighteen years of age or four or more years older than the victim.
    • The offender is a mental health professional, the victim or one of the other persons is a mental health client or patient of the offender.
  • Otherwise, misdemeanor of the third degree

 

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2901.13 Limitation of criminal prosecutions

  • (A) (1) (a) For any other felony, within six years after commission of the offense
  • (A) (1) (b) For any misdemeanor, within two years after commission of the offense
  • (A) (1) (c) For any minor misdemeanor, within six months after commission of the offense
  • (A) (3) (a) Within 20 years after commission of the offense for the following offenses, or for conspiracy or attempt to commit the following offenses:
    • Rape (§ 2907.02)
    • Sexual battery (§ 2907.03)
    • Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor (§ 2907.04)
    • Gross sexual imposition (§ 2907.05)
  • (C)(1) If the period of limitation in (A)(1) or (3) has expired, prosecution shall be commenced for the following offenses during the following periods:
    • (a) For an offense involving misconduct in office by a public servant, at any time while the accused remains a public servant, or within two years thereafter;
    • (b) For an offense by a person who is not a public servant but whose offense is directly related to the misconduct in office of a public servant, at any time while that public servant remains a public servant, or within two years thereafter.
  • (F) The period of limitation shall not run during any time when the corpus delicti remains undiscovered.
  • (G) The period of limitation shall not run during any time when the accused purposely avoids prosecution.  Proof that the accused departed this state or concealed the accused’s identity or whereabouts is prima-facie evidence of the accused’s purpose to avoid prosecution.
  • (H) The period of limitation shall not run during any time a prosecution against the accused based on the same conduct is pending in this state, even though the indictment, information, or process that commenced the prosecution is quashed or the proceedings on the indictment, information, or process are set aside or reversed on appeal.
  • (I) For any offense involving a physical or mental wound, injury, disability, or condition of a nature that reasonably indicates abuse of a child under 18 or of a mentally retarded, developmentally disabled, or physically impaired child under twenty-one years of age, the period of limitation does not begin to run until either victim reaches the age of majority or the abuse has been reported to a law enforcement officer or a public children services agency, whichever occurs first

State v. Aubrey, 885 N.E. 2d 251 (Ohio Ct. App. 2008)  Amended 20 year statute of limitations period applies to sexual battery charges where the amended statute of limitations was extended by the legislature before the original six-year limitations period had expired. 

State v. Sakr, 655 N.E.2d 760 (Ohio Ct. App. 1995) For purposes of the tolling provision of § 2901.13(c), which applies to crimes by public servants, “in order for the statute of limitations to be tolled, either the offense must involve such a palpable nexus between the auspices of the office and the wrongdoing that it constitutes an offense against justice and public administration as codified in R.C. Chapter 2921 [Offenses Against Justice and Public Administration], or, alternatively, the wrongdoer must have misused his or her public office effectively to conceal the wrongdoing and thus thwart timely prosecution.”

State v. Webber, 654 N.E. 2d 1351 (Ohio Ct. App. 1995)  Six-year statute of limitations for rape and sexual battery began to run when alleged victim reached age of majority. 

 

DNA EXCEPTION

State v. Danley, 853 N.E. 2d 1224 (Ohio Ct. App. 2006)  Defendant subject to 20 year statute of limitations under amended statute of limitations for rape and gross sexual imposition, among other crimes, and complaint and arrest warrant against “John Doe” for charges of rape and aggravated robbery which listed a detailed DNA profile commenced the criminal action against the defendant tolling the statute of limitations.


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