CHAPTER 533

Obscenity and Sex Offenses

533.01 Definitions.
533.02 Presumption of knowledge; actual notice and defense.
533.03 Corruption of a minor.
533.04 Sexual imposition.
533.05 Importuning.
533.06 Voyeurism.
533.07 Public indecency.
533.08 Procuring.
533.09 Soliciting.
533.091 Loitering to engage in solicitation.
533.10 Prostitution.
533.11 Disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.
533.12 Deception to obtain matter harmful to juveniles.
533.13 Displaying matter harmful to juveniles.
533.14 Obscene or profane language.
533.99 Penalty.

CROSS REFERENCES

See sectional histories for similar State law
Complicity - see GEN. OFF. 501.10
Offensive conduct - see GEN. OFF. 509.03
Telephone harassment - see GEN. OFF. 537.10
Criminal trespass - see GEN. OFF. 541.05


533.01 DEFINITIONS.
As used in this chapter:

(a) "Sexual conduct" means 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 cavity of another. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete vaginal or anal intercourse.

(b) "Sexual contact" means any touching of an erogenous zone of another, including without limitation the thigh, genitals, buttock, pubic region, or, if such person is a female, a breast, for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying either person.

(c) "Sexual activity" means sexual conduct or sexual contact, or both.

(d) "Prostitute" means a male or female who promiscuously engages in sexual activity for hire, regardless of whether the hire is paid to the prostitute or to another.

(e) Any material or performance is "harmful to juveniles," if it is offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community with respect to what is suitable for juveniles, and if any of the following apply:

(1) It tends to appeal to the prurient interest of juveniles;

(2) It contains a display, description or representation of sexual activity, masturbation, sexual excitement or nudity;

(3) It contains a display, description or representation of bestiality or extreme or bizarre violence, cruelty or brutality;

(4) It contains a display, description or representation of human bodily functions of elimination;

(5) It makes repeated use of foul language;

(6) It contains a display, description or representation in lurid detail of the violent physical torture, dismemberment, destruction or death of a human being;

(7) It contains a display, description or representation of criminal activity which tends to glorify or glamorize such activity, and which with respect to juveniles has a dominant tendency to corrupt.

(f) When considered as a whole, and judged with reference to ordinary adults, or, if it is designed for sexual deviates or other specially susceptible group, judged with reference to such group, any material or performance is "obscene" if any of the following apply:

(1) Its dominant appeal is to prurient interest;

(2) Its dominant tendency is to arouse lust by displaying or depicting sexual activity, masturbation, sexual excitement or nudity in a way which tends to represent human beings as mere objects of sexual appetite;

(3) Its dominant tendency is to arouse lust by displaying or depicting bestiality or extreme or bizarre violence, cruelty or brutality;

(4) Its dominant tendency is to appeal to scatological interest by displaying or depicting human bodily functions of elimination in a way which inspires disgust or revulsion in persons with ordinary sensibilities, without serving any genuine scientific, educational, sociological, moral or artistic purpose;

(5) It contains a series of displays or descriptions of sexual activity, masturbation, sexual excitement, nudity, bestiality, extreme or bizarre violence, cruelty or brutality, or human bodily functions of elimination, the cumulative effect of which is a dominant tendency to appeal to prurient or scatological interest, when the appeal to such interest is primarily for its own sake or for commercial exploitation, rather than primarily for a genuine scientific, educational, sociological, moral or artistic purpose.

(g) "Sexual excitement" means the condition of human male or female genitals when in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal.

(h) "Nudity" means the showing, representation or depiction of human male or female genitals, pubic area or buttocks with less than a full, opaque covering, or of a female breast with less than a full, opaque covering of any portion thereof below the top of the nipple, or of covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state.

(i) "Juvenile" means an unmarried person under the age of eighteen.

(j) "Material" means any book, magazine, newspaper, pamphlet, poster, print, picture, figure, image, description, motion picture film, phonographic record or tape, or other tangible thing capable of arousing interest through sight, sound or touch.

(k) "Performance" means any motion picture, preview, trailer, play, show, skit, dance or other exhibition performed before an audience.

(l) "Spouse" means a person married to an offender at the time of an alleged offense, except that such person shall not be considered the spouse when any of the following apply:

(1) When the parties have entered into a written separation agreement authorized by Ohio R.C. 3103.06;

(2) During the pendency of an action between the parties for annulment, divorce, dissolution of marriage or legal separation;

(3) In the case of an action for legal separation, after the effective date of the judgment for legal separation.

(m) "Minor" means a person under the age of eighteen years. (ORC 2907.01)


533.02 PRESUMPTION OF KNOWLEDGE; ACTUAL NOTICE AND DEFENSE.

(a) An owner, or manager, or his agent or employee, of a bookstore, newsstand, theater or other commercial establishment engaged in selling materials or exhibiting performances, who, in the course of business does any of the acts prohibited by Section 533.11, is presumed to have knowledge of the character of the material or performance involved, if he has actual notice of the nature of such material or performance, whether or not he has precise knowledge of its contents.

(b) Without limitation on the manner in which such notice may be given, actual notice of the character of material or a performance may be given in writing by the chief legal officer of the jurisdiction in which the person to whom the notice is directed does business. Such notice, regardless of the manner in which it is given, shall identify the sender, identify the material or performance involved, state whether it is obscene or harmful to juveniles and bear the date of such notice.

(c) Section 533.11 does not apply to a motion picture operator or projectionist acting within the scope of his employment as an employee of the owner or manager of a theater or other place for the showing of motion pictures to the general public, and having no managerial responsibility or financial interest in his place of employment other than wages. (ORC 2907.35)


533.03 CORRUPTION OF A MINOR.

(a) No person, who is eighteen years of age or older, shall engage in sexual conduct with another, who is not the spouse of the offender, when the offender knows the other person is thirteen years of age or older but less than sixteen years of age, or the offender is reckless in that regard.

(b) Whoever violates this section is guilty of corruption of a minor, a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the offender is four years older or more than the other person, corruption of a minor is a felony and shall be prosecuted under appropriate State law. (ORC 2907.04)


533.04 SEXUAL IMPOSITION.

(a) No person shall have sexual contact with another, not the spouse of the offender; cause another, not the spouse of the offender, to have sexual contact with the offender; or cause two or more persons to have sexual contact
when any of the following applies:

(1) The offender knows that the sexual contact is offensive to the other person, or one of the other persons, or is reckless in that regard.

(2) The offender knows that the other person's or one of the other person's ability to appraise the nature of or control the offender's or touching person's conduct is substantially impaired.

(3) The offender knows that the other person or one of the other persons submits because of being unaware of the sexual contact.

(4) The other person or one of the other persons is thirteen years of age or older but less than sixteen years of age, whether or not the offender knows the age of such person, and the offender is at least eighteen years of age and four or more years older than such other person.

(b) No person shall be convicted of a violation of this section solely upon the victim's testimony unsupported by other evidence.

(c) Whoever violates this section is guilty of sexual imposition, a misdemeanor of the third degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of a violation of Ohio R.C. 2907.02, 2907.03, 2907.04, 2907.05, 2907.06 or 2907.12, or a substantially similar municipal ordinance, a violation of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree. (ORC 2907.06)


533.05 IMPORTUNING.

(a) No person shall solicit a person under thirteen years of age to engage in sexual activity with the offender, whether or not the offender knows the age of such person.

(b) No person shall solicit a person of the same sex to engage in sexual activity with the offender, when the offender knows such solicitation is offensive to the other person, or is reckless in that regard.

(c) No person shall solicit another, not the spouse of the offender, to engage in sexual conduct with the offender, when the offender is eighteen years of age or older and four or more years older than the other person, and the other person is over twelve but not over fifteen years of age, whether or not the offender knows the age of the other person.

(d) Whoever violates this section is guilty of importuning. Violation of subsection (a) or (b) hereof is a misdemeanor of the first degree. Violation of subsection (c) hereof is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. (ORC 2907.07)


533.06 VOYEURISM.

(a) No person, for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying the person?s self, shall commit trespass or otherwise surreptitiously invade the privacy of another, to spy or eavesdrop upon another.

(b) No person, for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying the person?s self, shall commit trespass or otherwise surreptitiously invade the privacy of another to photograph the other person in a state of nudity.

(c) No person, for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying the person?s self, shall commit trespass or otherwise surreptitiously invade the privacy of another to photograph the other person in a state of nudity if the other person is a minor.

(d) (1) Whoever violates this section is guilty of voyeurism.

(2) A violation of subsection (a) hereof is a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(3) A violation of subsection (b) hereof is a misdemeanor of the second degree.

(4) A violation of subsection (c) hereof is a misdemeanor of the first degree. (ORC 2907.08)


533.07 PUBLIC INDECENCY.

(a) No person shall recklessly do any of the following, under circumstances in which his or her conduct is likely to be viewed by and affront others, not members of his or her household:

(1) Expose his or her private parts, or engage in masturbation;

(2) Engage in sexual conduct;

(3) Engage in conduct that to an ordinary observer would appear to be sexual conduct or masturbation.

(b) Whoever violates this section is guilty of public indecency. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection (b), public indecency is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one violation of Ohio R.C. 2907.09 or substantially similar municipal ordinance, public indecency is a misdemeanor of the third degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to two violations of Ohio R.C. 2907.09 or substantially similar municipal ordinance, public indecency is a misdemeanor of the second degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to three or more violations of Ohio R.C. 2907.09 or substantially similar municipal ordinance, public indecency is a misdemeanor of the first degree. (ORC 2907.09)


533.08 PROCURING.

(a) No person, knowingly and for gain, shall do either of the following:

(1) Entice or solicit another to patronize a prostitute or brothel;

(2) Procure a prostitute for another to patronize, or take or direct another at his or her request to any place for the purpose of patronizing a prostitute.

(b) No person, having authority or responsibility over the use of premises, shall knowingly permit such premises to be used for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity for hire.

(c) Whoever violates this section is guilty of procuring, a misdemeanor of the first degree. (ORC 2907.23)


533.09 SOLICITING.

(a) No person shall solicit another to engage with such other person in sexual activity for hire.

(b) Whoever violates this section is guilty of soliciting, a misdemeanor of the third degree. (ORC 2907.24)


533.091 LOITERING TO ENGAGE IN SOLICITATION.

(a) No person, with purpose to solicit another to engage in sexual activity for hire and while in or near a public place, shall do any of the following:

(1) Beckon to, stop or attempt to stop another;

(2) Engage or attempt to engage another in conversation;

(3) Stop or attempt to stop the operator of a vehicle or approach a stationary vehicle;

(4) If the offender is the operator of or a passenger in a vehicle, stop, attempt to stop, beckon to, attempt to beckon to, or entice another to approach or enter the vehicle of which the offender is the operator or in which the offender is the passenger;

(5) Interfere with the free passage of another.

(b) As used in this section:

(1) "Vehicle" has the same meaning as in Ohio R.C. 4501.01.

(2) "Public place" means any of the following:

A. A street, road, highway, thoroughfare, bikeway, walkway, sidewalk, bridge, alley, alleyway, plaza, park, driveway, parking lot, or transportation facility;

B. A doorway or entrance way to a building that fronts on a place described in subsection (b)(2)A. hereof;

C. A place not described in subsection (b)(2)A. or B. hereof that is open to the public.

(c) Whoever violates subsection (a) hereof is guilty of loitering to engage in solicitation, a misdemeanor of the third degree. (ORC 2907.241)


533.10 PROSTITUTION.

(a) No person shall engage in sexual activity for hire.

(b) Whoever violates this section is guilty of prostitution, a misdemeanor of the third degree. (ORC 2907.25)


533.11 DISSEMINATING MATTER HARMFUL TO JUVENILES.

(a) No person, with knowledge of its character or content, shall recklessly do any of the following:

(1) Sell, deliver, furnish, disseminate, provide, exhibit, rent or present to a juvenile any material or performance that is obscene or harmful to juveniles;

(2) Offer or agree to sell, deliver, furnish, disseminate, provide, exhibit, rent or present to a juvenile any material or performance that is obscene or harmful to juveniles;

(3) Allow any juvenile to review or peruse any material or view any live performance that is harmful to juveniles.

(b) The following are affirmative defenses to a charge under this section, that involves material or a performance that is harmful to juveniles but not obscene:

(1) The defendant is the parent, guardian or spouse of the juvenile involved.

(2) The juvenile involved, at the time of the conduct in question, was accompanied by the juvenile?s parent or guardian who, with knowledge of its character, consented to the material or performance being furnished or presented to the juvenile.

(3) The juvenile exhibited to the defendant or the defendant?s agent or employee a draft card, driver's license, birth certificate, marriage license, or other official or apparently official document purporting to show that the juvenile was eighteen years of age or over or married, and the person to whom that document was exhibited did not otherwise have reasonable cause to believe that the juvenile was under the age of eighteen and unmarried.

(c) (1) It is an affirmative defense to a charge under this section, involving material or a performance that is obscene or harmful to juveniles, that the material or performance was furnished or presented for a bona fide medical, scientific, educational, governmental, judicial or other proper purpose, by a physician, psychologist, sociologist, scientist, teacher, librarian, clergyman, prosecutor, judge or other proper person.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (b)(3) hereof, mistake of age is not a defense to a charge under this section.

(d) Whoever violates this section is guilty of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the material or performance involved is obscene, disseminating material harmful to juveniles is a felony and shall be prosecuted under appropriate State law. (ORC 2907.31)


533.12 DECEPTION TO OBTAIN MATTER HARMFUL TO JUVENILES.

(a) No person, for the purpose of enabling a juvenile to obtain any material or gain admission to any performance which is harmful to juveniles shall do either of the following:

(1) Falsely represent that he is the parent, guardian or spouse of such juvenile;

(2) Furnish such juvenile with any identification or document purporting to show that such juvenile is eighteen years of age or over or married.

(b) No juvenile, for the purpose of obtaining any material or gaining admission to any performance which is harmful to juveniles, shall do either of the following:

(1) Falsely represent that he is eighteen years of age or over or married;

(2) Exhibit any identification or document purporting to show that he is eighteen years of age or over or married.

(c) Whoever violates this section is guilty of deception to obtain matter harmful to juveniles, a misdemeanor of the second degree. A juvenile who violates subsection (b) hereof shall be adjudged an unruly child, with such disposition of the case as may be appropriate under Ohio R.C. Chapter 2151. (ORC 2907.33)


533.13 DISPLAYING MATTER HARMFUL TO JUVENILES.

(a) No person who has custody, control or supervision of a commercial establishment, with knowledge of the character or content of the material involved, shall display at the establishment any material that is harmful to juveniles and that is open to view by juveniles as part of the invited general public.

(b) It is not a violation of subsection (a) hereof if the material in question is displayed by placing it behind "blinder racks" or similar devices that cover at least the lower two-thirds of the material, if the material in question is wrapped or placed behind the counter, or if the material in question otherwise is covered or located so that the portion that is harmful to juveniles is not open to the view of juveniles.

(c) Whoever violates this section is guilty of displaying matter harmful to juveniles, a misdemeanor of the first degree. Each day during which the offender is in violation of this section constitutes a separate offense. (ORC 2907.311)


533.14 OBSCENE OR PROFANE LANGUAGE.

(a) No person shall utter obscene or licentious language, or profanely curse or swear.

(b) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.


533.99 PENALTY.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: See Section 501.99 for penalties applicable to any misdemeanor classification.)


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