A man appealed a court decision that would classify him as a Tier I sex offender. The defendant-appellant in this case pled guilty to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, which is a first degree misdemeanor (§ 2907.04 Ohio). He admitted to knowingly engaging in sexual conduct with a 15-year-old girl. While he admitted to the misdemeanor, he appealed his Tier I sex offender classification on the basis of two errors: 1) Trial court violated due process rights in requiring this type of registration. By law, a trial court must prove that the sexual conduct was forced, but no such evidence was presented in this case, and 2) Trial court violated Sixth Amendment rights to jury trial on the issue of consensual v. non-consensual sex with a minor. In this conviction following plea to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, R.C. 2907.04, trial court erred in classifying defendant as a sex offender where it did not determine if the victim consented to the conduct.
View State v. Clair, 2013 to learn more.