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Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Sex Offender Label After Consensual Affair

Ohio Supreme Court Gavel statue

The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the sex-offender label given a man convicted after a consensual affair with a 15-year-old girl when he was 21.

The court's 5-2 decision Thursday rejected the man's argument that the label amounts to cruel and unusual punishment because the classification is a significantly harsher punishment than the offense warranted.

Travis Blankenship pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in 2012, served 12 days in jail and was classified as a second-degree sex offender.

Court records say the girl confirmed the affair was consensual and a psychologist said Blankenship did not show sex-offender characteristics.

His attorneys argued his punishment was not proportionate to his crime. Prosecutors said his punishment didn't violate the constitution.