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Ohio Supreme Court Deliberates On Sex Crime Sentences For Children Under 13

Statehouse News Bureau

Kids under 13 can’t be charged with rape in Ohio. But the Ohio Supreme Court will decide if they can be charged with other sex crimes if both involved in the act were under 13. The court heard arguments in a case involving a 12-year-old and a nine-year-old.

Not much is known about what happened between the boys. So attorney David Strait argued charging the 12-year-old with gross sexual imposition violates his rights because Ohio law protects kids under 13.

“If both the offender and the alleged victim are within that protected class, then this distinction between the two breaks down,” Strait said.

But Franklin County assistant prosecutor Seth Gilbert said going forward with the case would give prosecutors a chance to show evidence that the older boy was the aggressor.

“To dismiss a complaint at the very beginning without any information other than the bare minimum facts alleged in the complaint, we feel is an abuse of discretion,” Gilbert said.

There was no force alleged here, but state law bans sex with children under 13, saying they are unable to consent.