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Ohio Child Molestation Laws

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Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect

Ohio Revised Code § 2151.421 sets forth a long list of professionals required to report suspected child abuse and neglect (including sexual abuse) to authorities. The list includes attorneys; healthcare professionals; psychologists, therapists, and counselors; school administrators and teachers; social workers; and members of the clergy.

Any other person who suspects that a child has suffered or faces a threat of suffering from abuse or neglect may also make a report.

Reports must be made immediately. Failure to report is a misdemeanor.

Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

Ohio Rev. Stat. §§ 2151.031; 2907.01; 2919.22 provide the following:

The term ‘abused child’ includes a child who is the victim of sexual activity when such activity would constitute an offense, except that the court need not find that any person has been convicted of the offense in order to find that the child is an abused child. Sexual activity means sexual conduct or sexual contact or both.

‘Sexual conduct’ means vaginal intercourse between a male and female; anal intercourse, fellatio, and cunnilingus between persons regardless of sex; and, without privilege to do so, the insertion, however slight, of any part of the body of any instrument, apparatus, or other object into the vaginal or anal opening of another. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete vaginal or anal intercourse.

‘Sexual contact’ means any touching of an erogenous zone of another, including without limitation, the thigh, genitals, buttocks, pubic region, and if the person is a female, a breast, for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying either person.

A person commits the crime of ‘endangering children’ when the person does any of the following to a child:

Entice, coerce, permit, encourage, compel, hire, employ, use, or allow the child to act, model, or in any other way participate in, or be photographed for, the production, presentation, dissemination, or advertisement of any material or performance that the offender knows or reasonably should know is obscene, sexually oriented, or nudity-oriented matter.