And in its opinion the court was clear that it was not condoning the officer's behavior. Writing for the court, Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor noted that provisions in the sexual battery statute that apply to a teacher or a minister or a mental health provider are different in that they require an occupational relationship with the minor.The state said a provision of the state's sexual battery statute, which bars sexual conduct with a minor when the officer is more than two years older than the minor, violated the equal protection clauses in the U. The ban for officers, though, required no such relationship and as such was an "arbitrarily disparate treatment of peace officers." The original case The case involved former Waite Hill officer Matthew Mole, then 35, who was convicted in 2012 of sexual battery.That doesn't mean that police may engage in such acts without fear of prosecution.Other laws barring adults, including peace officers, from having sexual conduct with minors remain in place.At trial, a jury returned a hung verdict on a charge of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, which prohibits contact with a minor ages 13 to 15.A judge, though, ruled Mole was guilty of sexual battery by virtue of his position as a police officer and sentenced him to two years in prison.
Previous coverage: Former Waite Hill officer convicted of sexual battery against a 14-year-old boy Mole's conviction was overturned by the Ohio 8th District Court of Appeals, which ruled the portion of the sexual battery law applied to Mole was unconstitutional.Cuyahoga County prosecutors appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court.The boy portrayed himself as an 18-year-old high school senior, and the two met.The boy's mother caught them engaging in sexual conduct.
In a 4-3 decision, the court said it was not condoning the behavior of the officer involved in the case. COLUMBUS, Ohio – A divided Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a decision from Cuyahoga County that struck down a law barring police officers from engaging in sexual conduct with minors.But the section of the sexual battery statute, as written to apply to officers, violated the equal protection clauses of the U. A 4-3 decision, the ruling by the state's highest court also affirms the appellate decision to overturn a Waite Hill officer's conviction.