Importuning is sexual offense and a legal parlance that people facing the charge find difficult understanding, since it’s not a word you meet in everyday conversations. Hence, if you’re facing a charge of importuning, it is essential to abreast yourself with what constitutes the charge.
In this article, we define importuning according to the relevant state laws, explain the charges, discuss the possible penalties if convicted and also address other related and relevant questions. Kindly keep reading to know more.
What is importuning?
In Ohio, importuning is a sexual crime which is defined by the Ohio Revised Code as the act of soliciting sexual activity from a minor who is younger than 13 years.
Also known as solicitation of a minor, a person is also guilty of importuning when they solicit sexual activity from a law enforcement officer posing as a minor of less that 13 years of age. It is not a viable defense when facing importuning charges, to claim you didn’t know the age of the victim.
Soliciting sexual activity from a person who is 13 years or older but less than 16 years of age while the offender is 18 years or older, and there’s age gab of 4 or more years between offender and victim, also qualifies as importuning in Ohio.
You can also face importuning charges if the solicitation of a minor occurred via a telecommunication device and through media such as:
- Social media,
- phone, and
- any other medium of digital communication.
Examples of importuning
There are several instances that qualify as importuning under the Ohio revised code that one must know. A few examples of solicitation of a minor include:
1. A 20 year old man or woman sexting with a 12 year old, getting the minor to engage in activities such sending naked pictures and communicating in language generally considered to be sexually explicit.
2. In another instance, say a 20 year old adult engages in sexually explicit communication, soliciting sexual activity from a minor who is of age 13years to 15 years, since the age difference between a 20 year old and a 15 year old is 5, the person commits importuning.
3. In the final example of an instance where importuning charges apply, say an 18 year old person is suspected to be soliciting sexual activity from a minor.
Law enforcement, in a bid to get better evidence against such a person, can pretend to be a minor and engage in communication with the suspect. If the suspect goes ahead to solicit sexual activity from the catfish account or persona used by the law enforcement, they are liable for importuning.
Remember that importuning only deals with solicitation, if actual penetrative sexual activity occurred between the victim and the offender, the offender will face Statutory rape charges.
Importuning charge Ohio
The ORC classifies a charge of importuning as a Felony of the third degree for first time offenders. Offenders with a prior sexual offense conviction or any offense involving minors, face a 2nd degree felony charge.
Importuning charges involving a victim of age 13 years or older but below 16 years and an offender who is 18 years or older but with a age gab of 4 or more is classified as a 5th degree felony.
The charge escalates to a fourth degree felony if the offender was previously convicted of a sexually oriented offense or a child-victim oriented offense.
Importuning sentence Ohio
The penalties when found guilty of importuning can be dire and the effects can last for a lifetime. Aside the punitive measures, offenders may be on the receiving end of slander from the public as well as face diminishing employment prospects. Importuning penalties in Ohio include:
- Prison time of up to 5 years,
- Fines of up to $10,000,
- Revocation of child custody rights, and
- Lifetime registration as a sex offender.
Statutory rape vs importuning
There is a significant difference between statutory rape and importuning. While importuning involves the solicitation of sexual activity from a minor, a person commits statutory rape when they have actual penetrative sexual activity with a minor.
The penalties for a statutory rape offense are quite harsher compared with that for importuning. The similarities are that, both are sexual crimes and will require offender to registry on the sexual offenders registry.
Solicitation of a minor
The term solicitation of a minor and importuning refers to one and the same offense involving the request for sexual activity by a person from a minor. The minor in this case could be a law enforcement officer posing as such, the fact which doesn’t make it any less serious an offense punishable under the law.
What is corruption of a minor in Ohio?
Also known as unlawful sexual conduct with minor in ORC 2907.04, a person who is eighteen years of age or older commits corruption of a minor in Ohio when he or she engages 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.
Corruption of a minor charges Ohio
Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor is prosecuted as a felony of the fourth degree. However, if the offender is less than four years older than the victim, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
If the offender is 10 or more years older than the victim, it becomes a felony of the third degree. Also, if the offender has previously been convicted or pleaded guilty to an offense which is sexual in nature, the offense becomes a 2nd degree felony.
Penalties for corruption of a minor Ohio
As is the case with all sexual crimes, the consequences go beyond what happens in the count room. The social ramifications will follow a person for their lifetime. That is why it’s important to know the law and keep yourself on the right side of it.
If you’re facing charges of importuning or corruption of a minor, it is important to secure the services of a lawyer with adequate experience dealing with cases of this nature. Such a lawyer will be able to know the signs of a weak case and plan an appropriate defense strategy.
Sexual offenses such as importuning can bring consequences that can follow you the rest of your life. It is important to abreast yourself with the knowledge of the law, in order to be on the right side of it.
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