Thursday, June 09, 2011

Ohio "statutory rape" law in part unconstitutional

The Dayton Daily News this morning reported that Ohio’s Supreme Court ruled that the state's statutory rape law is unconstitutional vague as applied to sexual conduct between two children who are both younger than 13 when neither child uses force or impairs the other, and violates the United States Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because only one child was charged with being delinquent in the case, while others in similar situations were not.

The Court noted, though – while not finding evidence of such here – that " while we hold that R.C. 2907.02(A)(1)(b) is unconstitutional as applied to a child under the age of 13 who engages in sexual conduct with another child under the age of 13, a child under the age of 13 may be found guilty of rape if additional elements are shown: the offender substantially impairs the other person’s judgment or control, R.C. 2907.02(A)(1)(a); the other person’s ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or advanced age, R.C. 2907.02(A)(1)(c); or the offender compels the other person to submit by force or threat of force, R.C. 2907.02(A)(2).”

Court’s decision
Case summary

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