But even if this is true, a defendant cannot rely on a mistake of age—even a reasonable one— to avoid conviction in Ohio.
Penalties include a fine of up to ,000, at least six months in jail (and up to 18 months in prison), or both.
However, if Tony were to rape Jen (force her to have sex against her will), he would have no protection under the law even if the two are married.
Named after Shakespeare’s young lovers, “Romeo and Juliet” exceptions are intended to prevent serious criminal charges against teenagers who engage in consensual sex with others close to their own age.
Of course, rape that does involve force or an assault is illegal in Ohio and prosecuted as forcible rape (see Ohio Sexual Battery Laws).
Assaults of a sexual nature may also be charged under the state’s assault and battery laws (to learn more, see Aggravated Assault Laws in Ohio and Child Enticement in Ohio).