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Sex Offenses Against Minors

A number of different charges constitute sex offenses against minors. Below is a listing of sex offenses against minors and additional information about each.

To be charged with pandering material involving a nude minor (otherwise known as illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance), you must have done any of the following:
  • Taken a nude photo of a minor who is not yours, or create any type of performance (video, play, etc.) that shows them nude, unless both of the following apply:
    • It has proven artistic, medical, scientific, educational, religious, governmental, judicial or other proper purpose, as certified by a doctor, psychologist, sociologist, scientist, teacher, researcher, librarian, clergy member, prosecutor, judge or other person who has a proper interest in it
    • The minor’s parents, guardian or custodian consents in writing to it
  • Consented to nude photos being taken of a minor that’s yours, or taken them yourself, or consented to them being nude in any type of material or performance, unless it has proven artistic, medical, scientific, educational, religious, governmental, judicial or other proper purpose, as certified by a doctor, psychologist, sociologist, scientist, teacher, researcher, librarian, clergy member, prosecutor, judge or other person who has a proper interest in it
  • Possessed or viewed anything that shows a nude minor who’s not yours, unless one of the following applies:
    • It has proven artistic, medical, scientific, educational, religious, governmental, judicial or other proper purpose, as certified by a doctor, psychologist, sociologist, scientist, teacher, researcher, librarian, clergy member, prosecutor, judge or other person who has a proper interest in it
    • You know that their parents, guardian or custodian has given written consent to it
To be charged with importuning, you must have done one of the following:
  • Tried to have sex with someone under the age of 13, regardless of whether you knew their age
  • If you’re 18+, you tried to have sex with someone who’s not your spouse, between 13 and 15 years old and more than four years younger than you, regardless of whether you knew their age
  • If you’re 18+, you tried to have sex with someone who’s not your spouse, either 16 or 17 years old, more than four years younger than you and a victim of human trafficking
  • If you’re 18+, you tried to get someone to have sex with you by using some form of electronic communication (texting, instant messaging, etc.), when any of the following applies:
    • The victim was less than 13 years old and you knew this or did it without checking
    • The other person was a police officer posing as someone under 13, and you believed they were under 13 or did it without checking
    • The victim was between 13 and 15 years old and you were more than three years older than them; you knew this or did it without checking
    • The other person was a police officer posing as someone between 13 and 15 years old, you were more than three years older than the their supposed age, and either you believed that was their age or did it without checking
To be charged with attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, you must have done some sort of sexual activity with someone who was not your spouse and who was between the ages of 13 and 15 when you were 18+. Either you knew their age or didn’t check beforehand.
To be charged with gross sexual imposition of a minor, you must have done either of the following:
  • Had some form of sexual contact with someone other than your spouse who’s under 13 years old, or caused them to have it with you, or caused two other people to have sexual contact, one being under 13
  • Touched the genitals of someone younger than 12 (whether or not you knew their age) when clothes weren’t covering them, and the touching was meant to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade or arouse or gratify them

There are few criminal cases more sensitive or consequences more life altering than when a person is charged with a sex offense against a minor.  Depending on the nature and severity of the allegations, a sex offense against a minor can be charged as a fifth-degree felony, punishable by up to 12 months in prison to a second-degree felony, punishable by up to eight years in prison.

If you are convicted of a sex offense against a minor, you will be classified as a sex offender. The sex offender classification is a tiered system, based on the severity of the offense.

Required registration as a sex offender every year for 15 years (10 if you were a minor when the offense was committed); no community notification required
Required registration as a sex offender every 180 days for 25 years (20 if you were a minor when the offense was committed); no community notification required
Required registration as a sex offender every 90 days; community notification of sex offender status

Simply put, if you are convicted of a sex offense against a minor, it will be on your criminal background for the rest of your life. No matter what the circumstances were in your case, your life will never be the same. Therefore, it is critical that you give your sex offense against a minor charge the level of importance it deserves.

The Columbus Criminal Defense team takes an aggressive and comprehensive approach when representing clients charged with a sex offense against a minor. First and foremost, we will figure out if the charges are fabricated, what mistakes the police or detectives made during their investigation, whether your arrest was lawful, if there were any problems in the collection, storage or testing of evidence and any other legal issues that can be raised on your behalf.

We do this by requesting discovery from the prosecutor and by conducting our own investigation. The discovery will generally consist of police reports, additional investigative notes, lab reports and potentially video or audio.

Our investigation will consist of going to the scene, interviewing all witnesses and potentially hiring a private detective or forensic expert for further investigation.  As our client, you will receive a copy of everything received from the prosecutor and our investigation for your review.

Based on the legal weaknesses in the State of Ohio’s case and any other mitigating factors, we will negotiate the best possible plea available with the prosecutor for you to consider in resolving your case.

If your case cannot be resolved satisfactorily with a plea, it would then proceed to a motion hearing (a hearing where the judge issues a ruling on an evidentiary issue) or a trial to the judge or jury, depending on the circumstances.

For nearly ten years, the Columbus Criminal Defense team has successfully represented clients charged with criminal offenses from minor misdemeanors to first degree felonies. That extensive previous experience will enable us to better help you.

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If you’ve been charged with any of these offenses, it’s important to know what you’re up against. If you have any questions left unanswered by this page, or if you need a competent, experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for you in court, please contact us at or via email at advice@columbuscriminalattorney.com.

Pandering material involving a nude minor

This is a felony of the second degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of two to eight years
  • A fine of $7,500 to $15,000
  • Required registration as a sex offender every 180 days for 25 years (20 if you were a minor when the offense was committed); no community notification required
This is a felony of the second degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A mandatory prison term of three to eight years
  • A fine ranging from $7,500 to $15,000
  • Required registration as a sex offender every 180 days for 25 years (20 if you were a minor when the offense was committed); no community notification required
This is a felony of the fifth degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of six months to one year
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $2,500
  • Required registration as a sex offender every year for 15 years (10 if you were a minor when the offense was committed); no community notification required
This is a felony of the fourth degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of six to 18 months
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $5,000
  • If the previous offense was the same as this one, the following applies:
    • Required registration as a sex offender every 180 days for 25 years (20 if you were a minor when the offense was committed); no community notification required
  • If the previous offense was pandering obscenity or sexually oriented material involving a minor, the following applies:
    • Required registration as a sex offender every 90 days; community notification of sex offender status

Importuning

If you tried to have sex with someone besides your spouse who’s between 13 and 15 years old, in-person or over electronics (text, instant message, etc.), regardless of whether they were a minor or a policer officer posing as one, it’s a felony of the fifth degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of six months to one year
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $2,500
  • Required registration as a sex offender every year for 15 years (10 if you were a minor when the offense was committed); no community notification required
This is a felony of the fourth degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term six to 18 months
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $5,000
  • If the previous offense was also a Tier I offense, the following applies:
    • Required registration as a sex offender every 180 days for 25 years (20 if you were a minor when the offense was committed); no community notification required
  • If the previous offense was Tier II or III, the following applies:
    • Required registration as a sex offender every 90 days; community notification of sex offender status
If you tried to have sex with someone under 13, in-person or over electronics (text, instant message, etc.), regardless of whether they were a 13-year-old or a policer officer posing as one, it’s a felony of the third degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A probable prison term of nine months to three years
  • A fine of $5,000 to $10,000
  • Required registration as a sex offender every year for 15 years (10 if you were a minor when the offense was committed); no community notification required
This is a felony of the second degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A mandatory prison term of two to eight years
  • A fine of $7,500 to $15,000
  • If the previous offense was also a Tier I offense, the following applies:
    • Required registration as a sex offender every 180 days for 25 years (20 if you were a minor when the offense was committed); no community notification required
  • If the previous offense was Tier II or III, the following applies:
    • Required registration as a sex offender every 90 days; community notification of sex offender status

Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor

This is a felony of the fourth degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of six to 18 months
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $5,000
  • Required registration as a sex offender every 180 days for 25 years (20 if you were a minor when the offense was committed); no community notification required
This is a felony of the third degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of nine months to three years
  • A fine of $5,000 to $10,000
  • Required registration as a sex offender every 180 days for 25 years (20 if you were a minor when the offense was committed); no community notification required
This is a misdemeanor of the first degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A jail sentence of up to 180 days
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $1,000
  • Required registration as a sex offender every year for 15 years (10 if you were a minor when the offense was committed); no community notification required
This is a felony of the second degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of two to eight years
  • A fine of $7,500 to $15,000
  • Required registration as a sex offender every 90 days; community notification of sex offender status

Gross sexual imposition of a minor

This is a felony of the third degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A prison term of nine months to three years
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishment
    • If there is corroborating evidence or you have a prior offense similar to or the same as this, the prison sentence will be mandatory
  • A fine of $5,000 to $10,000
  • Required registration as a sex offender every 180 days for 25 years (20 if you were a minor when the offense was committed); no community notification required
Have a question concerning sex crimes against minors we didn’t answer below? Feel free to email us or call us and we’ll help you out.

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