Many times, the presumption of innocence is overlooked when someone has been accused of sex crimes. Unfortunately, an unspecific, unsubstantiated accusation can have an immediate and life-long impact on the person accused. The tactics used by authorities and prosecutors in these types of cases can be easily used against you, regardless of your innocence, and may result in large monetary fines or years in prison.
Hiring an experienced Cincinnati sex crimes lawyer to handle a sex crime case is an absolute. If you have been arrested or believe you’re under investigation for an alleged sex-related offense, you need a defense attorney who understands how these crimes are prosecuted and will act quickly and thoroughly to preserve your reputation.
Mark Wieczorek, has handled over 100 rape cases and well over 500 cases that are defined as sex crimes. His extensive experience and knowledge will be vital in establishing a defense in your case.
The Wieczorek Law Firm defends clients throughout Ohio against sex crimes. Contact us 24/7 at (513)-317-5987 for a free review of your case. Time is not on your side and you need an attorney you can trust to utilize every defense possible to receive the best outcome.
How Can a Sex Crimes Lawyer Help?
If you have been accused of committing a sex crime, you may already be facing backlash before you even have the chance to defend yourself against the charges. Your reputation can be damaged, your marriage could implode, and you may lose your job – all based on a mere accusation. Unfortunately, things could just get worse from there with a conviction, including having to spend years behind bars and having to pay fines and register as a sex offender. The stakes have never been higher in your life.
An experienced sex crimes lawyer can aid in your defense by:
- Reviewing the charging documents relevant to your case
- Conducting an in-depth investigation to determine why you were charged with a crime
- Interviewing witnesses to question their credibility or support your defense
- Investigating whether police violated your constitutional rights or committed procedural errors
- Analyzing possible defenses to use in your case
- Filing motions and arguing for the dismissal of charges or suppression of evidence
- Making discovery requests to better prepare for trial
- Answering your questions and addressing your concerns throughout the process
- Negotiating a plea deal if this is the best option for your case
- Negotiating the best possible result for your case
- Representing you during trial
Sex crime cases are often backed by lengthy investigations and the full weight of the government. Level the playing field by hiring an experienced sex crimes lawyer who can advocate for your rights.
Sex Crimes Overview
Chapter 2907 of the Ohio Revised Code lists criminal offenses categorized as sex crimes. While many alleged incidents are categorized as sex crimes, Ohio law establishes that offenses typically involve some kind of prohibited sexual conduct. While many people believe that sex crimes are typically committed by someone they do not know, the alleged offenders in these cases are typically personally known to the alleged victim, such as a friend, family member, or co-worker. If convicted, sex offenders can face severe penalties and may need to register as a sex offender for years.
Sex Crimes Definition
As it relates to sex crimes, the Ohio Revised Code defines the following:
(A) “Sexual conduct” means vaginal intercourse between a male and female; anal intercourse, fellatio, and cunnilingus between persons regardless of sex; and, without privilege to do so, the insertion, however slight, of any part of the body or any instrument, apparatus, or other object into the vaginal or anal opening of another. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete vaginal or anal intercourse.
(B) “Sexual contact” means any touching of an erogenous zone of another, including without limitation the thigh, genitals, buttock, pubic region, or, if the person is a female, a breast, for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying either person.
(C) “Sexual activity” means sexual conduct or sexual contact, or both.
(D) “Prostitute” means a male or female who promiscuously engages in sexual activity for hire, regardless of whether the hire is paid to the prostitute or to another.
(E) “Harmful to juveniles” means that quality of any material or performance describing or representing nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sado-masochistic abuse in any form to which all of the following apply: Its dominant appeal is to prurient interest; is to arouse lust by displaying or depicting sexual activity, masturbation, sexual excitement, or nudity in a way that tends to represent human beings as mere objects of sexual appetite; is to arouse lust by displaying or depicting bestiality or extreme or bizarre violence, cruelty, or brutality; is to appeal to scatological interest by displaying or depicting human bodily functions of elimination in a way that inspires disgust or revulsion in persons with ordinary sensibilities, without serving any genuine scientific, educational, sociological, moral, or artistic purpose; or contains a series of displays or descriptions of sexual activity, masturbation, sexual excitement, nudity, bestiality, extreme or bizarre violence, cruelty, or brutality, or human bodily functions of elimination, the cumulative effect of which is a dominant tendency to appeal to prurient or scatological interest, when the appeal to such an interest is primarily for its own sake or for commercial exploitation, rather than primarily for a genuine scientific, educational, sociological, moral, or artistic purpose.
Sex Crimes We Defend Against
The Wieczorek Law Firm represents individuals throughout Ohio who are accused of committing sex crimes such as:
Ohio has three different child pornography laws:
- Pandering obscenity with a minor involves the creating, reproducing, publishing, creating, producing, promoting, selling, delivering, displaying or bringing into the state any obscene material featuring a minor or impaired person.
- Pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor involves creating, producing, recording, photographing, filming, reproducing, publishing, promoting, directing, presenting or bringing into the state any material that shows a minor participating in sexual activity, masturbation, or bestiality.
- Illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance involves photographing a nude minor child other than your own who is in a state of nudity or creating, directing, producing or transferring any material or performance that is to be sold, possessed or brought into the state that features a nude child or consenting to the any of these.
This offense can be coupled with federal child pornography charges, which can result in serious offenses.
Solicitation of Prostitution
Ohio law prohibits charging for sexual services or offering to pay for the performance of sexual services under the state’s solicitation law. It is also illegal to pay for a prostitute for someone else.
Rape is sexual conduct with someone other than your spouse by means such as:
- Force, threat of force, or deception to prevent the victim’s resistance
- Substantially impairing the victim by using a drug, intoxicant or controlled substance
- Committing the crime against a victim under 13 years old, regardless of whether you knew they were underage
- Knowingly engaging in such conduct with someone whose ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired by a mental or physical disability or because of advanced age
Rape is charged as a first-degree felony in Ohio, which carries the possibility of 3-11 years in prison and up to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole depending on the age of the victim. It also requires registration as a sex offender for the rest of your life.
Gross Sexual Imposition
Gross sexual imposition is sexual imposition that involves one or more of the following:
- Purposefully causing the alleged victim to submit to sexual contact by force or threat of force
- Substantially impair the judgment or control of the other person through force, the threat of force, deception or a controlled substance to prevent resistance
- Engaging in such contact with a person under 13 years old
- Engaging in such contact knowing the other person’s judgment or control is substantially impaired by drugs or an intoxicant administered during surgery, medical treatment or dental treatment
- Engaging in such contact when you know the alleged victim’s ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired due to a disability or advanced age
- Knowingly touching a child’s genitals when they are under 12 years old
This is a felony offense in Ohio, which can result in more than a year behind bars while simple sexual imposition is a third-degree misdemeanor.
Sex Crimes Evidence
When it comes to defending against a sex crime, it’s important to understand the burden of proof is on the prosecution. Prosecutors need to prove the guilt of alleged offenders beyond a reasonable doubt in order for you to be convicted of any sexual offense. Their team will likely rely on and present various forms of physical evidence such as DNA, photographs of injuries and statements from witnesses. As your criminal defense attorney, the Wieczorek Law team will work with you to discover and present additional evidence that will disprove the charges brought against you or provide reason for a lesser charge.
Sex Crimes Penalties in Cincinnati, OH
Penalties for sex crimes vary based on the type of charge and nature of the crime. Penalties range from low-level misdemeanors up to first degree felonies.
If convicted, some charges also require a person to register as a sex offender in the county in which they reside.
Defenses to Sex Crimes
There are several possible defenses that can apply to sex crime offenses. An experienced sex crimes lawyer can evaluate your situation and determine which defenses apply and how to best leverage them. Here are some examples of defenses that may apply in sex crimes cases:
Consent is sometimes a defense to sex crimes when an element of the offense is lack of the alleged victim’s consent. To use this defense, you must show that, objectively, it appeared that the alleged victim gave consent and had the legal ability to give consent. Consent is not a valid defense in cases in which the alleged victim was under 13 years old or had a disability that substantially impaired their ability to resist or consent.
If you are legally married to the alleged victim, this is a possible defense that can be raised in rape and certain other sex crime cases. This is because the offense sometimes includes language stating that the alleged victim is “someone other than” your spouse. However, this offense does not apply if you no longer reside with your spouse or you divorced.
Evidentiary defenses often argue that evidence was illegally obtained by law enforcement. According to established caselaw, evidence that was obtained outside the legal confines of the Fourth Amendment can be suppressed or not permitted to be used as evidence against a defendant at trial. Likewise, evidence obtained due to such illegally obtained evidence can be suppressed based on the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine. Without evidence such as DNA or rape kit results, there may not be sufficient evidence to support a conviction, which can justify asking for a dismissal of charges.
Your lawyer can evaluate if you have an evidentiary argument to make, such as if evidence was obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment due to an unreasonable search or seizure, evidence was tainted during the testing process, or evidence was stored improperly to render results unreliable.
Rape Kit Defense
Ohio has specific laws about how rape kits must be taken and stored for them to be presented as evidence in a sex crimes case. Traditional rape kits must be used within three days of an alleged sexual encounter to obtain DNA evidence. Many alleged rape victims do not immediately report rape, and a delay in submitting to a medical examination can result in the loss of this evidence. Some DNA evidence is obtainable up to six weeks after a sexual encounter, but a specialized testing kit must be used. An experienced attorney can argue against admitting evidence from unreliable kits.
In other situations, a rape kit could produce evidence that is helpful to the defense, such as a finding that forcible rape did not occur, that the defendant’s DNA is not on the kit, or that someone else’s DNA is on the kit. Your sex crimes lawyer will best know how to present this evidence.
Constitutional violations may include an illegal search or seizure. Improperly indicting a defendant, or failing to prosecute the defendant within the speedy trial deadline.
Statute of Limitations
Sex crimes in Ohio often have time limits by which the prosecution must bring charges. For example, the statute of limitations for rape in Ohio is 25 years. If the crime is prosecuted after the deadline, your attorney can move to dismiss the charges.
Are You Looking for a Sex Crimes Lawyer in Cincinnati?
With sexual offense litigation, handling details promptly and having the right support is important. A sex offenses lawyer has training and expertise in handling cases involving sexual misconduct. Have you been arrested or charged with a sex offense? Then you need to hire a lawyer immediately. Doing so will give you and your lawyer adequate time to mount a successful defense. They can help protect you from reputational damage, advise you on dealing with the police and investigators, help to reduce penalties, and more.
If you need a Cincinnati criminal defense attorney, contact The Wieczorek Law Firm. We are committed to providing clients with the best quality defense in criminal matters. We will examine all the facts and create a strategy that will increase your chances of success. Contact us at (513)317-5987 to learn more about how we can help you, or complete our contact form for a free consultation today.