Ohio Age of Consent Laws 2023
What is the Ohio Age of Consent?
The Ohio Age of Consent is 16 years old. In the United States, the age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. Individuals aged 15 or younger in Ohio are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape.
Ohio statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age 16 whom they are not married to. A close in age exemption exists allowing minors aged 13 and older to consent to a partner under age 18.
Ohio has a close-in-age exemption. A close in age exemption, also known as "Romeo and Juliet law", is designed to prevent the prosecution of underage couples who engage in consensual sex when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both are below the age of consent.
Depending on the situation, the Ohio close-in-age exemption may completely exempt qualifying close-in-age couples from the age of consent law, or merely provide a legal defence that can be used in the event of prosecution.
The age of consent in Ohio is based on the following statutes from the Ohio criminal code:
Ohio Age Of Consent Law: 2907.04 Unlawful sexual conduct with minor. (A) No person who is eighteen years of age or older shall engage in sexual conduct with another, who is not the spouse of the offender, when the offender knows the other person is thirteen years of age or older but less than sixteen years of age, or the offender is reckless in that regard. 2907.02 (A) 1. No person shall engage in sexual conduct with another who is not the spouse of the offender or who is the spouse of the offender but is living separate and apart from the offender when any of the following applies... (b) the other is person is less than thirteen years of age, whether or not the offender knows the age of the other person
Punishments for Violating the Age Of Consent in Ohio
Ohio has five statutory sexual abuse charges on the books which are used to prosecute age of consent and child abuse related crimes within the state. One or more of these charges may be used to prosecute violations of the Ohio Age of Consent, as statutory rape or the Ohio equivalent of that charge.
The severity of the criminal charge (felony, misdemeanor, etc) depends on the specifics of the acts committed and the relative ages of the perpetrator and victim. Click any charge for more detailed information.
|Gross sexual imposition||Felony of the third degree||1-5 years in prison|
|Rape||Felony of the first degree||If victim compelled through force, threat, or controlled substance, not less than 5 years, if victim under 10, life in prison; subsequent offenses: life w/ or w/o parole|
|Sexual battery||Felony of the second degree; Felony of the third degree||2-8 years in prison; 1-5 years in prison|
|Sexual imposition||Misdemeanor of the third degree||Up to 60 days in prison|
|Unlawful sexual conduct with minor||Felony of the fourth degree; Felony of the second degree; Felony of the third degree; Misdemeanor of the first degree||6-18 month in prison; 2-8 years in prison; 1-5 years in prison; A maximum of 6 months in prison|