Rape is one of the most serious criminal offenses in Ohio, with corresponding serious penalties upon conviction. Many people accused of this crime find that the presumption of evidence is discarded and they face immediate repercussions related to their freedom, career, family, and reputation. If you are facing rape charges in Ohio, it is vital that you work with an experienced lawyer for an aggressive sex crimes defense in Cincinnati.
Mark Wieczorek has handled over 100 rape cases and over 500 sex crimes. You can rely on our Cincinnati criminal defense attorneys‘ extensive experience and knowledge. Contact us at (513) 317-5987 for a free case review.
What Is Rape?
Rape is defined under Ohio law as engaging in sexual conduct with someone who is not their spouse and:
- Substantially impairs them by using a drug, intoxicant or controlled substance or uses force, threat of force or deception to prevent resistance
- The alleged victim is under 13 years old
- The alleged victim’s ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical disability or advanced age and the defendant knows or has reason to know this
- Purposely compels the other person to submit by force or threat of force
The specific circumstances surrounding the alleged act will dictate how the offense is charged.
What Are the Penalties for Rape in Ohio?
Rape is a first-degree felony in Ohio, which can result in five years to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. There are also mandatory penalties for this offense in Ohio, including a minimum of five years imprisonment if rape was facilitated by force or involuntary intoxication and a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole if the rape was violent and committed against a child under ten years of age.
Additionally, the defendant can be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of their life. They may also be charged a fine up to $20,000, be required to pay all investigative and court costs and be required to pay restitution to the alleged victim.
Defenses to Rape Charges
One of the most important jobs of a criminal defense lawyer is to determine the best legal strategy for your defense. Depending on the circumstances, possible defenses might include:
- Consent – The consent of the alleged victim could be a viable defense in cases that do not involve the age or disability of the victim.
- Constitutional challenges – If the defendant was illegally searched or seized or the defendant was coerced into a confession, these circumstances could provide justification to suppress the evidence obtained against them.
- Procedural or testing errors – If evidence was obtained in an illegal manner or procedures were not followed, it could potentially be suppressed. This could include rape or DNA kits that were tainted during testing, improperly stored kits, or illegally-obtained DNA samples. Obtaining a rape kit after a substantial delay could also provide grounds to question the reliability of the test.
- Misunderstanding – The defendant may have reasonably believed that the victim wanted to engage in sexual contact or consented to force during sex.
Your lawyer can determine if these or other defenses are appropriate for your case.
Contact Our a Rape Defense Lawyer Today for a Free Case Review
The Wieczorek Law Firm defends clients who have been accused of rape and other sex crimes throughout Ohio such as child pornography or gross sexual imposition. Learn more about how we can help when you contact us for a free case review.