Steve Palmer
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Criminal Defense For Sex Crimes

Any accusation of a sex crime is serious and can have potentially devastating consequences with respect to your reputation in the community. A conviction and required registration on Ohio’s sex offender registry can impact the rest of your life. My name is Steve Palmer and I am a criminal defense lawyer. I founded Palmer Legal Defense in Columbus because I don’t want that one mistake or bad decision to affect the rest of your life.

Sexual Misconduct And Assault Crimes In Ohio

Sexual assault in Ohio can range from sexual contact and battery, to rape and gross sexual imposition. Rape is a sexual assault crime. In the state of Ohio, to be convicted of rape, the accused must have:

  • Used force or a threat of force to engage in sexual misconduct with another person. The perceived threat of force is enough to warrant a rape charge.
  • Engaged in sexual activity with an individual too impaired to make rational decisions. If the accused administered drugs or intoxicants to the victim that impaired that person’s judgment or control, this could be cause for a potential rape charge. Engaging in such behaviors with a person who is too old and who lacks the mental or physical capacity to resist or make decisions, may also lead to a rape charge.
  • Engaged in a sexual encounter with a minor under the age of 13.

Rape allegations are among the most serious felony charges you can face. Successfully defending a rape charge requires an experienced criminal defense attorney. I have experience with complex, highly sensitive and high-profile cases. With over 25 years of experience, I have dedicated my legal career exclusively to the practice of criminal law and criminal defense.

Statutory Rape In Ohio

Officially referred to as “unlawful sexual conduct with a minor,” this is the charge for sexual conduct with a partner under the age of consent. The age of consent is 16 in the state of Ohio. However, if the adult is a teacher, coach, administrator or other public school employee, the age of consent is raised to the age of 18. Penalties can range as high as five years in prison or more, depending on an offender’s criminal history.

A conviction for any sexual offense, with a minor or otherwise, can result in significant time in prison and a lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender.

Gross Sexual Imposition

GSI is defined according to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC 2907.05) as anyone who has sexual contact with a person that is not their spouse, causes someone else to engage in sexual behavior with them, or causes two or more people to engage in sexual behavior when any of the following actions occur:

  • The offender purposefully influences another person to submit through force or threat of force.
  • The offender significantly impairs the judgment or control of someone else in order to prevent resistance through the use of a drug through means of deception, force or threat of force.
  • The offender is aware that the judgment or control of someone else is significantly impaired from a drug that has been given to a person through their permission from surgery or another medical treatment.
  • The other person involved in the offense is under 13 years old.
  • The offender had knowledge the other person’s ability to resist or consent is significantly impaired from a mental or physical condition or elderly age.

Unlike rape, gross sexual imposition (GSI) is generally limited to engaging in sexual contact with another person against his or her will. Oftentimes the victim involved is impaired from alcohol or drugs. Ohio courts take GSI extremely seriously, and those convicted often face fines and jail time, as well as mandatory registration as a sex offender.

Have You Been Accused Of A Sex Crime?

I want to help you prevent further disruption to your life and damage to your reputation. Contact me to schedule an initial consultation and I can tell you more about how I can defend you from the accusations you are facing. To schedule your appointment, call me at 614-224-6142 or send me an email using my website form.