Difference Between Sexual Imposition and Gross Sexual Imposition

In Ohio, the crimes of “Gross Sexual Imposition” and “Sexual Imposition” both involve touching (“Sexual Contact”) as opposed to actual sex (“Sexual Conduct”). Specifically, under Ohio law, “Sexual Contact” means one person touched another person’s erogenous zone, and did it for the purpose of sexual gratification. An “erogenous zone” includes a person’s thigh, genitals, buttock, public region, or female breast. In other words, it is not necessary to have sex with another person to have “sexual contact.” Rather the mere touching of another person’s erogenous zone is sufficient, if it is done for the purpose of sexual gratification.

Ohio’s “Gross Sexual Imposition” statute criminalizes a more serious form of touching, involving in some instances, for example, the use of force, or when accompanied by an act to prevent resistance, or if it is done with a victim under 13 years old. None of those elements are ever required to prove the lesser offense of “Sexual Imposition.”

In Ohio, the crime of “Gross Sexual Imposition” is, in most instances, a felony of the fourth degree, carrying a potential maximum sentence of up to 18 months in prison. The lesser offense of “Sexual Imposition,” on the other hand, is in most instances a misdemeanor of the third degree, carrying a potential maximum sentence of up to 60 days in jail.

If you have been charged with or are under investigation for any Ohio sex offense, including Sexual Imposition or Gross Sexual Imposition, please call one of our Columbus attorneys for a free initial consultation.