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Their incapacity is written into the statute—hence the term, “statutory” rape.The age of consent can vary among states, and some states differentiate between consensual sex between minors who are close in age (for example, two teenagers of the same age), as opposed to sex between a minor and a much older adult.For instance, Ohio law doesn't state the ages at which a minor is eligible for emancipation or able to provide legal consent to medical treatment.However, Ohio law does indirectly provide for the emancipation of minors in some limited situations.Legislation does exist regarding appropriate and inappropriate physical affection between adults and minors, as well as the sexual activity of minors that may take place in a dating relationship.In Ohio, it is illegal for an adult (someone 18 or older) to have sex with a minor (someone younger than 18), even if the sex is consensual.Since the difference between a 16- or 17-year-old and an 18-year-old may be difficult to discern, someone keen to avoid a felony charge would be wise to demand proof of age before saying anything about sex.And if the object of his attention happens to have a fake ID—as teenagers pretending to be older than they are sometimes do, especially when they go to bars or clubs—that is no defense.
The following table lists the various provisions of Ohio's legal age laws.
The Ohio Senate is expected to take up the bill after returning from its summer break.
Likewise, the state doesn't formally define dating nor any form of courtship aside from the union of marriage between a man and a woman.
While there is no statutory language specifically defining emancipation, Ohio courts will consider it on a case-by-case basis.
But unlike in many other states, there is no legal process by which a minor may petition the court to become emancipated.