Importuning. What Is It? And What Are the Penalties for It?

Importuning. What Is It? And What Are the Penalties for It?

Generally speaking, to importune means to urge somebody to do something. In terms of Ohio's sex offense laws, specifically O.R.C. 2907.07, importuning is defined as soliciting a minor to engage in sexual activity. Anyone who asks, entices, or coerces a person under 17 years of age to have sex or participate in any other sex acts with them may be charged with a felony.

Because felonies are the most serious crimes a person can commit, the consequences for violating Ohio's importuning law are severe. And because importuning is a sex crime, the impacts are long-lasting, as a conviction can result in a requirement to register as a sex offender.

Conduct Considered Importuning

Ohio's importuning law is separated into four divisions. Each specifies different types of conduct the state prohibits. In general, the divisions are concerned with soliciting a minor to engage in sexual conduct. Where they differ is the age of the alleged victim and how the offense is carried out.

The following are the ways a person may be charged with importuning:

  1. Soliciting someone under 13 years of age for sex
  2. Soliciting a person between 13 and 15 years of age for sex when
    1. the offender is 18 years of age, and
    2. four or more years older than the victim; or

Soliciting a person who is 16 or 17 years of age for sex when

  1. the person solicited is a human trafficking victim,
  2. the offender is 18 years of age or older, and
    1. the offender is 4 or more years older than the victim
  1. Using a telecommunications device to solicit a person under 13 years of age for sex when
    1. the offender is 18 years of age or older and
    2. the offender knows the victim's age or is reckless in discerning it
  2. Using a telecommunications device to solicit a person between 13 and 15 years of age for sex when
    1. the offender is 18 years of age or older and
    2. four or more years older than the victim

The Penalties for Importuning

If a person solicits for sex – whether by telecommunications device or other means – someone who is 13 or 15 years of age, they could be charged with a fifth-degree felony. At this level, a conviction can result in up to 12 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500.

Soliciting someone under 13 years of age or a person 16 or 17 years of age who is a victim of human trafficking is a third-degree felony. Anyone found guilty of either offense may be imprisoned for up to 36 months and/or fined up to $10,000.

Sex Offender Registration Requirement for Importuning

In Ohio, importuning is a sexually oriented offense. As such, in addition to incarceration and or fines, anyone convicted of the crime will be required to register as a sex offender.

The individual will be designated a Tier I sex offender. This classification requires that the person provide their name, address, place of employment, and place of education to the local sheriff's office annually. They must also immediately report any address, job, or education enrollment changes. The individual must continue to do this for 15 years.

Being convicted of a sex crime comes with heavy penalties that can seriously upend a person's life. If you're facing accusations for importuning or any other offense in Dayton, contact Rion, Rion & Rion at (937) 223-9133 for hard-hitting legal representation.

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