In typical romantic relations, nearly anything is legal as long as both parties consent to the act. However, those under the age of consent can never have legally permissible sexual encounters, even if they are willing participants. Therefore, all Ohioans should know the age of consent in our state.
The Age of Consent in Ohio
The age of consent in Ohio is 16 years old. Therefore, anyone who is 16 years old can have consensual sexual conduct with anyone else who is at least 16 years old. However, Ohio also adheres to a close-in-age exemption.
Ohio’s Close-in-Age Exemption
A close-in-age exemption is where two younger people may partake in consensual sexual conduct without fear of breaking the law. Ohio’s close-in-age exemption says that anyone who is under 18 years old can engage in consensual sexual relations with someone who is at least 13 years old.
All that to say, a 13-year-old can have legal consensual sexual relations with a 17-year-old in Ohio. However, once the 17-year-old turns 18, he or she can longer have legal sexual relations with someone under 16.
“What if I Didn’t Know They Were Underage”
Not knowing that someone was a minor is not an automatic defense in Ohio sex crimes cases. Therefore, an 18-year-old could face criminal penalties for sleeping with a 15-year-old, even if the 15-year-old lies about his or her age and says he or she is 16.
Have You Been Accused of Sexual Misconduct with a Minor?
If you or a loved one has been accused of sexual misconduct with a minor, you’ll need an experienced sex crimes attorney on your side. The attorneys of Patrick Mulligan & Associates are experienced in every aspect of criminal law and can defend you against your charges.