Rape

Columbus Rape Defense Lawyers

Experienced representation if you’re charged with rape in Central Ohio

Rape is a very serious sex crime. A charge of rape immediately damages the reputation of the person accused. A conviction will likely mean years in jail and a large fine. On release from prison, the accused will have to register as a sex offender. If you are charged with or accused of rape, your first step should be to contact an experienced Columbus sex crimes defense lawyer immediately.

At Soroka & Associates, LLC, we have a team of experienced sex crime defense lawyers. We understand the unique challenges in defending accusations of rape in court. We’ll review what happened and develop a strategy to fight the charges. Our lawyers seek dismissals when the facts do not support the charges, and we file motions to suppress improperly obtained evidence. Our attorneys are seasoned trial lawyers who are ready to assert all possible defenses at trial.

Our lawyers have obtained the following impressive results for some of clients:

  • Rape and Sexual Assault – Not Guilty after Jury Trial
  • Rape – Not Guilty after Jury Trial
  • Six Counts of Rape – Not Guilty after Jury Trial
  • Rape and Gross Sexual Imposition – Not Guilty after Jury Trial

How can we help?

How does the state of Ohio define rape?

The crime of rape in Ohio is defined as follows:

No person shall engage in sexual conduct with another who is not the spouse of the offender or who is the spouse of the offender but is living separate and apart from the offender, when any of the following applies:

(a) To prevent resistance, the offender “substantially impairs the other person’s judgment or control by administering any drug, intoxicant, or controlled substance to the other person surreptitiously or by force, threat of force, or deception.”

(b) The victim is less than 13 years of age – regardless of whether the offender knows the victim’s age.

(c) The ability of the victim to “resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age” – provided the offender is aware of the other person’s condition.

No person shall engage in sexual conduct with another when the offender purposely compels the other person to submit by force or threat of force.

Sexual conduct is defined as:

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 or 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.

Further, Ohio’s rape statute provides:

  • The accuser does not need to prove physical resistance to the offender.
  • Generally, evidence of the accuser’s prior sexual activity including opinion and reputation evidence is not admissible unless the activity involves prior relations with the accused or evidence of the origin of semen, pregnancy, or disease – “and only to the extent that the court finds that the evidence is material to a fact at issue in the case and that its inflammatory or prejudicial nature does not outweigh its probative value.” Generally, the admissibility issue should be resolved before the trial, at a hearing where the victim has the right to legal counsel.
  • When the charge of rape is based on force or the threat of force, it is not a defense that the accused and the accuser “were married or were cohabiting at the time of the commission of the offense.”

What are the consequences of a Columbus rape conviction?

Generally, a conviction for rape is a felony of the first degree. The sentence for a first-degree felony is between three and 11 years. The length of the sentence can be longer if:

  • The victim was under 13.
  • The rape is based on force or the threat of force.
  • The victims had a physical or mental disability.
  • Drugs or alcohol were used to prevent the victim from consenting or resisting.
  • The defendant had a prior criminal record -including prior sex crime convictions.

Do I have to register as a sex offender if I’m convicted of rape?

Anyone convicted of rape must register as a sex offender with their local sheriff. Rape is considered a Tier III offense, which requires that the person convicted of rape register every 90 days for the rest of their life. Offenders cannot live within 1,000 feet of a school or daycare center. Anyone who lives within 1,000 feet will be notified that a sexual offender lives nearby. Developing personal and community relationships as a sex offender is extremely difficult.

How can your Columbus rape defense attorneys help my case?

At Soroka & Associates, our Columbus rape defense lawyers assert every legal and factual defense that is relevant to your case. Some of the defenses we may assert include:

  • Questioning the credibility of witnesses, starting with the accuser. Many sex crime cases involve people who knew each other. Our defense lawyers question the person who accused you, including whether the complaint is fabricated. We question any delay in reporting the offense. Our lawyers may question whether the person consented and then changed her/his version of what happened. In some cases, we may argue that any conduct was due to a misunderstanding. In total, we question whether they and/or any other witnesses (such as other family members) are telling the truth.
  • Questioning the ID of the offender. If you and your accuser do not know each other, we may work to show that:
    • A police lineup or photo array was not conducted according to proper procedures.
    • There is inconsistent testimony about the identification.
    • Any forensic evidence such as DNA, hair, or fingerprint evidence was not taken according to proper procedures or was not tested properly.
  • Asserting that the sexual conduct was consensual. Consent is generally a defense to rape unless the consent was forced due to the use of drugs, alcohol, or a weapon.
  • Reviewing any surveillance video or witness statements that could support a defendant’s case.
  • Asserting any Constitutional defenses that apply. You have the right not to incriminate yourself through your statements. You have a right to a speedy trial and to question witnesses. Any physical evidence must be obtained through a properly executed warrant or other just grounds.
  • Questioning whether the complaint was fabricated. When you do know your accuser, we question whether there was a motive to lie – such as jealousy, financial concerns, revenge, anger, or other reasons. Some accusers don’t want others to know they had sexual relations, so they may fabricate rape allegations.
  • Asserting an alibi defense. If you can verify you were elsewhere when the offense occurred, we demonstrate your alibi.

We work with investigators and experts who understand how to speak with witnesses, look for surveillance evidence, and review proper evidentiary procedures. We also review all medical evidence in the case.

Do you have a rape defense lawyer near me?

The Columbus office of Soroka & Associates is located at 503 South Front Street, Suite 205. We’re close to I-71 and Rt. 23. We can also meet with clients at detention facilities if necessary.

Speak with an experienced Columbus rape defense lawyer now

Each case is different. In some cases, your strongest defense is a jury trial. In other cases, we may negotiate with the prosecution to see if the government will agree to reduce the charges to a less serious crime. At Soroka & Associates, our Columbus rape defense lawyers are strong advocates. We speak for you in court, with prosecutors, and with the public. To assert all your defenses, call us at 614-358-6525 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.