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Ohio Supreme Court Weighs Exceptions To Sex Offender Label

Ohio Supreme Court Gavel statue
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Ohio Supreme Court whether the state's sex offender labels are cruel and unusual punishment.

The Ohio Supreme Court is considering whether the state’s sex-offender labels amount to cruel and unusual punishment if the classification is a significantly harsher punishment than an offense warrants.

At issue is a sex offender label given a man convicted following his consensual affair with a 15-year-old girl when he was 21. Ohio law classifies sex with minors as crimes regardless if the act is consensual.

The court scheduled arguments Tuesday with a decision several weeks away.

Blankenship pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in 2012, served 12 days in jail and was classified as a second-degree sex offender.

His attorneys argue his punishment was not proportionate to his crime. Prosecutors say his punishment doesn’t violate the constitution.