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Rape

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Rape

Rape is the most serious sex offense a person can commit. A Rape conviction can single handedly destroy your life, putting your reputation, career, and freedom at high stake. Finding out that you’ve been accused of Rape is a devastating situation to find oneself in, but it is very important that you act immediately and hire an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney in order to protect yourself and maintain your innocence. If you are under investigation and the police want to question you, do not, by any means, undergo interrogation without an attorney present.

Rape Attorney in Willoughby

The state of Ohio takes Rape matters very seriously, and prosecutors will fight tooth and nail to prove this kind of case. As a former Assistant Prosecutor in Lake County, Ohio, criminal defense attorney and owner of Fortress Law Group, Matthew C. Bangerter knows the strategies used by prosecutors to pursue Rape cases. This quality provides you with the advantage of developing a comprehensive criminal defense strategy with your best interests in mind.

Forensic evidence is an incredibly important factor in Rape cases. Bangerter’s scientific background gives him an edge when evaluating the forensic evidence involved in a criminal defense case. After earning his Law degree and his MBA and dabbling in Computer Science in graduate school, he is currently working towards his Master of Science degree in Biochemistry. He is one of very few criminal defense attorneys who has actually cloned his own DNA in a lab, so he is well-versed in the scientific evidence involved in various criminal cases.

How is Rape Defined in Ohio?

Ohio law defines Rape as non-consensual sexual conduct. Sexual conduct is defined as vaginal, anal, or oral penetration. Non-consensual means that the victim is either:

  • Impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Forced or threatened
  • Less than 13 years of age
  • Mentally or physically disabled
  • Elderly

The victim’s and the defendant’s prior sexual history will not be considered as evidence unless it is to show the origin of disease, pregnancy, semen, or a past sexual relationship between the victim and the accused.

Rape Penalties in Ohio

Aside from prison time and hefty fines, a Rape conviction can lead to drastic consequences that can negatively affect your reputation, career, and family life. Rape is charged as a 1st degree felony in Ohio, which is the highest felony charge that exists. Offenders convicted of 1st degree felony Rape face 3-11 years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines, however, there are multiple case factors that could alter a Rape sentence:

  • If the victim was proven to be forcefully or deceptively impaired by the offender, the penalty is 5-11 years in prison.
  • If the victim was under 13 years old, the penalty is life imprisonment.
    • If the offender was – under 16 years old, did not cause serious physical harm to the victim, the victim was over 10 years old, and the offender has not been priorly convicted of a sex crime – they face a minimum prison sentence of 25 years, as opposed to life imprisonment.
  • If the offender has been previously convicted of Rape involving a victim under 13, caused serious physical harm to the victim, or if the victim was under 10 years old, they face life imprisonment without parole.

Since Rape is a sexual motivated crime, defendants are also subject to be placed on the sex offender registry. A 1st degree felony Rape conviction constitutes a Tier III registration, which is the highest tier of the Ohio Sexual Offender Registry. Tier III sex offenders must register every 90 days for the rest of their life. Being classified as a sex offender can cause damage to many areas of a person’s life. For one, the registry is public information, so anyone can find that you are a sex offender. Additionally, there are restrictions on where a sex offender can work and live, based on school zones. Sex offender status could likely result in the loss of and inability to qualify for professional licenses and permits.

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Why Choose Fortress Law Group?

Extensive Experience – Established in 2009, our firm has represented thousands of clients in various kinds of criminal cases. Our criminal defense attorneys make sure each client is diligently represented and protected throughout the trial.

 

Professional and Reliable – We value the trust and confidence each client gives us. The criminal justice system is complex, but we are dedicated to guiding you throughout the process to ensure your rights are protected.

 

Comprehensive Criminal Defense – Our team of attorneys is knowledgeable and up to date with all the relevant case laws and procedural rules in court and will ensure all your bases are covered.

 

Flexible Consultation Times – Facing a criminal charge is a serious matter. You must communicate with a lawyer as soon as possible. That’s why our communication lines – online and via phone – are available for clients to reach out to us at any time.

Defense Strategies for Rape in Ohio

If you are facing a Rape charge, you are innocent until proven guilty. This is why it is very important to have an attorney present while speaking with law enforcement, the last thing you want to do is hand over potentially incriminating information to the police. Speaking with the police right away might seem like the cooperative thing to do, but remember, anything you say can and will be used against you, and people often incriminate themselves, or are coerced to do so, without even knowing it.
Depending on the specific situation, there are numerous Rape defense strategies that could be applied. Some of the most common defenses used in Rape cases include:

  • False Allegation Defense – People falsely accuse others of crimes all the time, and Rape is one of the most common falsified reports. The accuser could be seeking out revenge or an advantage in a custody battle. This defense could be plausible if evidence is presented, such as text messages or social media posts, that show the accuser contradicting the allegation.
  • Alibi Defense – The alibi defense can work if you are able to prove that you were not at the crime scene at the time of the alleged incident. Evidence to back this defense might include witness testimony, video footage, time stubs from work, etc.
  • Consent Defense – While this defense cannot be applied to situations in which the victim was legally unable to provide consent, such as if the victim was a minor or intoxicated, the consent defense may be a valid strategy for interpersonal allegations involving history of a consensual sexual relationship.
  • Lack of Evidence Defense – The burden of proving your guilt rests entirely on the state, meaning that they must prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that you committed a crime. If there is not enough evidence to support the alleged victim’s story, a jury might hold reasonable doubt.

An experienced criminal defense attorney from Fortress Law Group will review the evidence against you and help determine the best defense strategy for your specific case.

Hiring An Attorney to Defend You

If you are facing a Rape charge, you do not want to go through the process alone. In order to protect your rights and have the best chance at fighting the charge, it is essential that you obtain a criminal attorney as soon as you become aware of an investigation or indictment.
An Ohio Rape attorney from Fortress Law Group will help you gather evidence, understand the evidence against you, and discover the best defense strategy to pursue. Our team of legal allies will support you every step of the way with compassion. If you are facing a Rape charge in Ohio, do not wait, contact Fortress Law Group today to schedule a case evaluation.

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Sex Offenses

What defense options do I have if accused of a sex offense in Ohio?

A sex crimes attorney with our firm, Fortress Law Group, can review your case and its evidence to determine if you had an alibi when the offense occurred and if the DNA evidence demonstrates that you weren’t present. If the case alleges the involvement of other potential suspects, we can review the likelihood that a known cohort of the other suspects might have been involved.

What are common sex crimes and penalties if convicted in Ohio?

Sex crimes fall under three tiers in Ohio. Tier I is primarily for minor sex crimes, while Tiers II and III are for more serious offenses. Whichever tier a conviction falls under dictates when and how often a sex crimes convict will have to update their sex offender registration.

Common misdemeanor sex crimes include:

  • Sexual imposition
  • Voyeurism (fifth-degree felony if the victim is a minor)
  • Public indecency (can be a felony, depending on circumstances)
  • Procuring prostitution (a felony if the prostitute is underage)
  • Solicitation for prostitution
  • Displaying or disseminating matter harmful to juveniles (a felony in some cases)

Common felony sex crimes include:

  • Rape (first-degree felony)
  • Sexual battery (third-degree felony)
  • Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor (fourth, third, or second-degree felony)
  • Gross sexual imposition (third- or fourth-degree felony)
  • Importuning (fifth, fourth, third, or second-degree felony)
  • Child pornography (fourth, third, or second-degree felony)
  • Compelling or promoting prostitution (fourth, third, second, or first-degree felony)

Can I appeal a sex crime conviction?

You may have your Ohio criminal defense attorney file an appeal after a conviction for a sex offense. If you feel that your defense attorney failed to represent you well in your case, contact us to have experienced sex crimes attorney Matthew C. Bangerter manage your appeal.

Be aware that you only have 30 days to file an appeal or an extension for an appeal to the court.

How do I find an experienced sex crime lawyer to defend me?

If you need a sex offenses attorney to represent you in Northeast Ohio, turn to our experienced team at Fortress Law Group, led by Attorney Matthew C. Bangerter. Since 2009, we’ve represented many people accused of sex offenses. Our strategy is to assess forensic evidence, look for witnesses, and secure an alibi to disprove the prosecution’s accusations. Call our offices in Cleveland Metro at (440) 340-1740 to schedule a case review.

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Matthew C. Bangerter, Esq.

As a former Assistant Prosecutor in Lake County Ohio, Cleveland criminal defense attorney Matthew C. Bangerter, ESQ. has experience with the strategies used by prosecutors to pursue their cases. As a member of the Ohio Bar Association, Lake County Bar Association, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cuyahoga Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Board of Directors of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, he takes his profession as a Cleveland criminal defense attorney seriously and ensures that he is up to date with the latest case law and trial strategies.

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Whether you’re charged with a DUI, misdemeanor, or felony, the prospect of facing trial is stressful. Worse, there’s also the possibility of jail time if things don’t go well for you in court. To help you face these legal adversities, you need an attorney who can work on an effective defense strategy and make sure your civil rights are upheld throughout the process. A Willoughby criminal appeals attorney at Fortress Law Group, LLC provides clients with comprehensive legal representation from trial to appeal, if needed.
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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.
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