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It is a fourth degree felony if the defendant is four or more (but fewer than ten) years older than the victim, and is punishable by at least six months in jail (and up to 18 months in prison), a fine of up to ,000, or both. § 2950.01 and following (2018).) Defendants charged with statutory rape have the usual defenses available to all criminal defendants, such as “Someone else committed this crime,” or “The alleged conduct did not occur.” One or more of the following defenses may also apply. §§ 2907.02, 2907.04, 2907.05 (2018).) (The marital defense is a remnant of the marital rape exemption.) Minors are legally incapable of giving consent to having sex; so for example, if Jen, a 15-year-old willingly has sex with Tony, her 23-year-old boyfriend, Tony can be charged with rape, since Jen is not legally capable of giving consent in the first place.
If the defendant is ten or more years older than the victim, the offense is a third degree felony, and penalties include at least one (and up to five) years in prison, a fine of up to ,000, or both. §§ 2907.01, 2907.04, 2929.14, 2929.18, 2929.23, 2929.28 (2018).) Gross sexual imposition includes sexual contact (sexual touching, without penetration, for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desires) with a minor who is younger than 13. §§ 2907.01, 2907.05, 2929.14, 2929.18 (2018).) State law requires that, in addition to the applicable fines and prison time, people convicted of certain sexual crimes (including some instances of statutory rape) must register as sex offenders. Ohio has a marital exemption for statutory rape that allows consensual sex between married minors and their adult spouses even though their ages would prohibit it if they were not married. But if Jen and Tony are and living in Ohio, Tony need not fear criminal charges for having consensual sex with Jen.
Their incapacity is written into the statute—hence the term, “statutory” rape.
The justices reasoned that when two children younger than 13 engage in sexual conduct, the distinction between the offender and the victim breaks down. B., 129 Ohio St.3d 104 (2011).) Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor includes sexual conduct between a minor who is 13, 14, or 15, and a defendant who is 18 or older.Though statutory rape does not require that the prosecutor prove an assault, it is still rape.