If you are a member of law enforcement, you can take comfort in the Ohio Supreme Court’s recent ruling declaring that you did not become something more than an ordinary citizen by choosing your job and you have the same constitutional rights under the law as anyone, in any other profession. In State v. Mole, the court found that law enforcement officers cannot be held to a higher standard in regard to sex crimes compared to the general public. They will not be held to a higher standard like parents, step-parents, guardians, teachers, coaches, administrators, hospital or institution workers, or mental health professionals can be in regard to sexual conduct with minors. However, if you are a peace officer and have been accused of sexual misconduct, call the skilled criminal defense attorney Bradley J. Groene immediately.
The Original Case
Matthew Mole was found to have had sexual contact with a 14-year-old boy whom he met through a mobile dating app. The minor had informed Mole that he was 18 years old. Mole had not told the adolescent that he was a police officer. The minor’s mother discovered them at the minor’s home after sexual acts had been performed. Mole was charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and sexual battery. Despite the victim’s lack of knowledge regarding Mole’s profession, Mole was charged under Ohio’s sexual battery statute that stated it was illegal for one person to engage in sexual intercourse or conduct with another person if “the other person is a minor, the offender is a peace officer, and the offender is more than two years older than the other person.”
The state dismissed the unlawful sexual conduct charge after the jury became deadlocked, but the judge convicted Mole of sexual battery during a bench trial.
Challenging the Sexual Battery Law
Mole appealed his sexual battery conviction arguing that the statute intended to protect minors from being taken advantage of by people who held authority over them, and this was not the case in his situation. Mole stated that the statute was discriminatory based on his occupation. The appellate court agreed and found the statute violated equal protection under the Ohio and US Constitutions.
The State appealed this decision, but the Ohio Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court’s decision. The law that Mole was charged under has been deemed unconstitutional on its face.
Contact an Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are a law enforcement officer facing charges under Ohio’s sexual battery law, call attorney Bradley J. Groene of Luftman, Heck & Associates immediately. You did not give up your Constitutional rights when you became an officer and you have the right to an aggressive defense. Brad has focused on criminal defense in his practice within the Cincinnati area. He has represented individuals charged with a variety of sex crimes, including felonies. He will work tirelessly on your case, building you the strongest defense possible under the law.
Call Luftman, Heck & Associates at (513) 338-1890 to schedule a consultation.