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Understanding Definitions of Sex Crimes

Dictionary open with definitions

Sex crimes represent some of the most serious types of criminal offenses on the books in the state of Ohio. If you or a loved one is facing a sex crime investigation, you need to understand basic definitions associated with such a charge. Any conviction associated with a sex crime can have devastating consequences on your entire future.

General Definitions Associated with Sex Offenses

The type of contact an alleged offender has with a victim of a sex crime governs the type of offense charged by the state. There are three levels of contact that come into play regarding sex offenses. These are:

  • sexual conduct
  • sexual contact
  • sexual activity

Sexual conduct is vaginal intercourse between a male and a female. It also includes fellatio, cunnilingus, and anal intercourse between individuals regardless of sex. However, when no consent exists, these actions become criminal. The offender may perform these actions against the free will of the victim, making it a sex crime.

Sexual contact means the touching of an erogenous zone of another person. An erogenous zone includes genitals, thighs, buttocks, pubic region, or breasts if the victim is female. The touching must be for sexual gratification

Sexual activity is an all-encompassing term. Sexual activity means sexual conduct, sexual contact, or both.

Specific Types of Sex Crimes in Ohio

Ohio law recognizes different types of sex offenses. The nature of the associated sexual conduct, sexual contact, and sexual activity more generally, coupled with a consideration of the victim, determines what type of sex crime the action constitutes.

A person can face more than one sex crime charge depending on the facts and circumstances of a case. The specific types of sex offenses outlined in Ohio statutes include:

  • rape
  • sexual battery
  • unlawful sexual conduct with a minor
  • gross sexual imposition
  • sexual imposition
  • importuning
  • voyeurism
  • public indecency

Rape is a sex offense involving sexual intercourse or some other form of penetration. This action occurs without the consent of the victim. Rape doesn’t always involve physical force, abuse of authority, coercion, or against an individual that is incapable of providing legal consent.

Sexual battery is a lesser sex offense charge compared to rape. Sexual battery is unwanted contact with another person's erogenous zones for sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse.

Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor is any sexual activity with a child under the age of 18. Gross sexual imposition is forcing or coercing sexual contact between two individuals who are not the offender. Sexual imposition is criminally sexually harassing another person.

Importuning is a sexual offense using the internet or another mechanism of telecommunication. The definition of voyeurism is unlawfully spying on others involved in intimate activity. Finally, public indecency is exposing a portion or portions of a person's body in situations in which that exposure would be contrary to local moral or other appropriate standards of behavior.

Protect Your Legal Interests with a Dayton Criminal Defense Attorney

You have specific rights to defend yourself when you face wrongful accusations regarding a sex crime. You deserve to have someone on your side with your best interests in mind, pursuing the most favorable outcome possible.

If you or a loved one faces a sec crime charge, you need to be highly proactive in retaining the services of a skilled, experienced Dayton criminal defense attorney.

A criminal defense lawyer at L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates is available to consult with you about your situation. There is no fee charged for an initial consultation with a sex crimes defense lawyer from our law firm.

Call our legal team today at (937) 685-7006 and discover what rights you may have.