It is about a two and a half hour drive northeast of Cincinnati to get to Newark, Ohio. The city of about 50,000 residents is where a Wisconsin man was recently arrested on a sex crime charge.
The 40-year-old is accused of kidnapping a 12-year-old Newark girl. He is also charged with gross sexual imposition. According to Ohio law, the crime occurs when “the offender substantially impairs the judgment or control of the other person or of one of the other persons by administering any drug, intoxicant, or controlled substance to the other person surreptitiously or by force, threat of force, or deception.”
The man allegedly met the girl online and then drove this past Monday from his suburban Milwaukee home to Newark. He is accused of then kidnapping her. He was arrested at a hotel, law enforcement officials said.
Her parents reported her missing after she did not return home from a ride on her bicycle.
In Ohio, gross sexual imposition is a felony of the third degree. A conviction can mean years in a state prison. Sex offenders are also required to register and be on a sex offender registry for a period of at least 15 years.
You might recall that earlier this year, the Ohio Criminal Justice Recodification Committee recommended overhauling registry requirements, potentially enabling thousands of designated sex offenders to be removed from the list.
The state currently has more than 17,000 people on the list. Less than a third of them are designated Tier III, the highest level. Many experts argue that registration does more harm to society than good, preventing people from reintegrating into society.
Those who face potentially harsh punishment can speak to a skilled attorney experienced in sex offense defense.