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Criminal Law

Consent

Journal

Cleveland State University

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Reclaiming The Right To Consent: Judicial Bypass Mechanism As A Way For Persons With Disabilities To Lawfully Consent To Sexual Activity In Ohio, Melissa S. Obodzinski Jun 2022

Reclaiming The Right To Consent: Judicial Bypass Mechanism As A Way For Persons With Disabilities To Lawfully Consent To Sexual Activity In Ohio, Melissa S. Obodzinski

Cleveland State Law Review

In Ohio, it is a criminal offense to engage in sexual conduct with another when his or her ability to consent is “substantially impaired” because of a mental or physical condition. There is no mechanism for persons with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities to receive judicial notice of whether their ability to consent is “substantially impaired” prior to criminal adjudication, nor is there a way for them to affirmatively prove that they have the capacity to consent to sexual activity. Thus, under Ohio law, intellectually and/or developmentally disabled individuals may be functionally and irrevocably barred from engaging in sexual intimacy for …