If you or a loved one is facing or threatened with a charge of Gross Sexual Imposition in Ohio, then you need to know as much as you can about both the charge and potential penalties and contact a sex crime attorney in Columbus.
Let’s start with Ohio’s definition of the crime of Gross Sexual Imposition.
In Ohio, under Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.05(A), a person commits the crime of Gross Sexual Imposition by touching another person’s genitals, thigh, pubic region, or female breast for the purpose of sexual gratification but only if it is done in one of three ways:
- When the touching is done through force or threat of force,
- When the alleged victim’s consent is substantially impaired through the secret or deceptive use of drugs or alcohol,
- When the person touched is under the age of 13.
In Ohio, the crime of Gross Sexual Imposition can be either a third or fourth degree felony. The penalty for a third degree felony is greater than for a fourth degree felony. The maximum potential penalty for Gross Sexual Imposition if a fourth degree felony is up to 18 months in prison. The maximum potential penalty for Gross Sexual Imposition if a third degree felony is up to 5 years in prison.
When does Gross Sexual Imposition carry the penalty of a third degree felony in Ohio?
Gross Sexual Imposition is a third degree felony in Ohio if:
- the alleged victim was under the age of 13 at the time of the alleged offense, or
- a controlled substance (illegal drug) was given to prevent resistance by the accuser.
If the alleged victim was under the age of 13, the crime is a third degree felony even if the offender did not know the alleged victim’s age. This is true even if the alleged victim lied to the offender about his or her age.
If the offense is a third degree felony, then it carries a potential penalty of 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 42, 48, 54, or 60 months (1 to 5 years) imprisonment. (Although third degree felonies normally carry a maximum prison term of 36 months, the higher sentencing range of up to 60 months imprisonment applies to some crimes, including the offense of Gross Sexual Imposition).
Prison is mandatory if either: (1) evidence other than the testimony of the victim was admitted into evidence to corroborate the crime; or (2) the offender had a prior sex conviction involving a person under the age of 13.
When does Gross Sexual Imposition carry the penalty of a fourth degree felony in Ohio?
Gross Sexual Imposition is a fourth degree felony in Ohio if:
- the alleged victim was 13 or older, and
- no controlled substances (illegal drugs) were used to prevent resistance by the accuser.
If the offense is classified as a fourth degree felony, then it carries a penalty of 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, or 18 months imprisonment. Prison is not mandatory. The offender may be sentenced to community control (probation), subject to the sentencing criteria set forth in Ohio Revised Code Section 2929.13(B)-(E).
Conviction of Gross Sexual Imposition in Ohio also carries Sex Offender Registration Penalties
In addition to the statutory penalties for the offense of Gross Sexual Imposition, effective January 1, 2008, Ohio established offender registration and notification requirements which conform to the federal Adam Walsh Act. This law classifies Gross Sexual Imposition as a “Sexually Oriented Offense,” and requires in-person registration for all persons convicted of the offense.
The Gross Sexual Imposition offenses classified in Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.05(A)(1)-(3) and (5) are Tier I classified offenses, which requires annual registration for 15 years for adults and 10 years for juveniles, with in-person verification requirements annually at the county sheriff’s office.
The Gross Sexual Imposition offense classified in Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.05(A)(4) is a Tier II classified offense, which requires registration every 180 days for 25 years for adults and 20 years for juveniles, with in-person verification requirements every 180 days at the county sheriff’s office.
Persons convicted of Gross Sexual Imposition are required to provide their local sheriff’s office with personal information that includes:
- Home address;
- Work address;
- School address
- Scars, tattoos and other identifying characteristics;
- Criminal history;
- Photograph and fingerprints; and
- Vehicle information.
Ohio Revised Code Section 2950.034 prohibits a registered sex offender from living within 1000 feet (1/5 mile) of a school or daycare center.
Registration is required within 3 days of entering the county in which the offender is living. In some Ohio counties if the person convicted of Gross Sexual Imposition spends several nights with a boyfriend or girlfriend, the Sheriff considers you to live at that address as well and requires offender registration at both addresses.
Offenders are required to notify the Sheriff in writing if they plan to leave their home for 7 or more days.
Ohio publishes sex offender registration information on the web through the Electronic Sex Offender Registration and Notification System (e-SORN). This system contains a database maintained by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and is publicly accessible through each Ohio county’s website.
Most Gross Sexual Imposition convictions are Tier I classified offenses, requiring 15-year registration duties for adults, with in-person verification annually.
However, Gross Sexual Imposition offenses with an alleged victim under the age of 13 (Revised Code Section 2907.05(A)(4)) are Tier II classified offenses, requiring 25-year registration duties for adults, with in-person verification every 180 days.
And Gross Sexual Imposition offenses involving a minor under the age of 12 (Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.05(B)) are classified as Tier III offenses, requiring lifetime registration duties and in-person verification every 90 days.
Attorneys in our law firm are available for a free initial consultation about how to defend against sex charges such as Gross Sexual Imposition, or any other alleged crime of sexual misconduct in Columbus or other parts of Ohio.