Rape Defense Attorneys in Cleveland, Ohio

Success for our Clients

ZLM successfully defended Client, Captain of a Police Department, who was charged with raping his infant daughter after he caught his wife cheating on him. The wife instituted divorce proceedings and fabricated the charges against Client. The grand jury returned an indictment, charging the Client with rape – which carried with it a life sentence if Client was convicted. The State of Ohio’s expert witness opined that the rape charge was supported by physical evidence – an alleged injury to the infant daughter’s hymen. ZLM obtained independent expert witness who opined that the alleged hymen injury was nothing more than a naturally occurring cleft. ZLM was able to establish that the false testimony of the State of Ohio expert witness, presented to the grand jury, constituted prosecutorial misconduct, which led to DISMISSAL of all charges.


Typically, Rape occurs when an individual has nonconsensual sexual conduct with another. An individual cannot consent to sexual conduct if his or her “ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired”, under the age of 13, or has a mental disability.

While purposely compelling another to have sexual conduct against his or her will, by force or threat of force, and without consent constitutes Rape, the offense of Rape can result from a variety of different circumstances. In Ohio, Rape is any form of unwanted sexual conduct obtained without consent, inability to consent, and/or obtained through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation, or coercion. The Ohio Statute for “Rape” is R.C. 2907.02 http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2907.02

Many Rape cases revolve around the element of “consent” or rather, whether there was a lack of consent or an inability to consent and whether the defendant knew, or had reasonable cause to believe, that there was no consent. For example, rendering someone so intoxicated with drugs or alcohol as to impair his or her ability to resist or consent, then engaging in sexual conduct with that person, may constitute Rape. However, having sexual conduct with another person that is voluntarily intoxicated may not necessarily amount to rape. The key issue in such a case would be whether the defendant knew, or had reasonable grounds to believe, that the intoxicated person’s ability to resist or consent was substantially impaired.

Likewise, engaging in sexual conduct with individuals who are unable to consent, such as children under 13 years old, persons with impaired judgment due to advanced age, and/or persons with mental/physical disabilities, may also constitute Rape.


  • An allegation of Rape, alone, can be extremely devastating, and a conviction for the offense of Rape can carry with it anywhere from three (3) years in some cases, to life in prison in others.
  • C. 2950.034 http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2950.034 prohibits persons convicted of sexually oriented offenses from establishing or occupying a residence within 1,000 feet of any school premises or preschool or child day-care center premises.
  • An individual charged with, or convicted of, Rape is prohibited from possessing a firearm under both state and federal law.
    • State law prohibits the possession of a firearm by an individual charged with, or convicted of, a felony offense of violence and federal law prohibits the possession of a firearm by an individual convicted of a felony offense punishable by a term of more than 1 year in prison. See, 18 U.S.C. 922(g) https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/922 ; R.C. 2923.13 http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2923.13 .


Rape is a Tier III sexual offense, which is the most serious sexual offense classification.


The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”), Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, sets out standards for sex offender registration. Ohio has substantively implemented SORNA.

For purposes of registration, a sex offender is any individual who was convicted of a sex offense. A sex offender must register in the jurisdiction where he resides, is an employee, and/or is a student. The offender must keep the registration up-to-date. Keeping registration up-to-date requires the offender to personally appear in a jurisdiction no later than 3 business following a change in address, employment, or student status to update his sex offender registry. The offender must also update the registry if the offender has a name change. If the offender is convicted in a jurisdiction other than the one in which he lives, then he must initially register there as well.

Ohio requires a Tier III offender to register for life. Further, in-person appearances are generally required once every three months for a Tier III offender.

The Ohio Registry can be viewed by anyone and contains information such as the offender’s name, Tier level, age, race, hair color, height, weight, eye color, any scars and/or tattoos, address, and the offense that the offender was convicted of, as well as the date of conviction. The registry also contains a current photograph of the offender.


Too often in today’s society, someone is accused of Rape and they are tried and convicted in the court of public opinion before ever having a chance to defend against the allegations. The Attorneys at Zukerman, Lear & Murray Co., L.P.A. have a proven track record of aggressively combating allegations of rape, conducting our own investigations to find the truth and challenging any and all evidence being presented by the State, to defend our clients and win.

If you or someone you know has been accused of Rape, contact the attorneys at Zukerman, Lear & Murray Co., L.P.A. today.

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