WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A teen who was who admitted to raping a 4-year-old relative lost his appeal to not be classified as a sexually oriented offender.
According to the Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office, the case surrounds an August 2020 rape offense where the 15-year-old offender entered a plea of “true” in juvenile court. A charge of gross sexual imposition was dropped.
The teen was sentenced to serve at least 12 months at the Ohio Department of Youth Services not to exceed his turning 21 years old.
In November 2022, a hearing was held to determine what the teen’s sexual classification would be. The magistrate assigned to the case said the classification was discretionary because of the defendant’s age. The state asked for a Tier III designation, and the teen’s attorney ask for no classification at all, stating that his client had completed a sex offender program.
The tiers are as follows for juveniles: (Source: Ohio Public Defender Commission – Juvenile registration)
- Tier I – The sex offender must register once a year for 10 years
- Tire II – The sex offender must register every 180 days for 20 years
- Tier III – The sex offender must register every 90 days for life
The magistrate ordered that the teen would have to register as a Tier II offender. The decision was made based on facts such as the victim’s age, that no drugs or alcohol were used to impair the victim, and that the defendant didn’t have a prior record and there was no pattern of abuse.
That decision was appealed by the teen to the 11th District Court of Appeals. The teen’s attorney argued that the court erred and abused its “discretion” with its clarification. However, after hearing from both sides, the appeals court upheld the magistrate’s ruling.