The Ohio Supreme Court declared a law unconstitutional because it made it illegal for police officers to have sex with minors.
The court ruled 4-3 that the law “discriminated” against police officers, on the basis of their professions – banning them having sex with minors, reported Cincinnati.com.
The court ruled the “government can’t punish a class of professionals like police without making a connection between their job and the crime,” according to Reuters, which quoted Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, writing for the majority:
The law overturned by the court prohibited police officers from having sex with minors if the offenders were more than two years older than the victim.
At issue was the 2012 conviction of former suburban Cleveland police officer Matthew Mole, who was accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy he met on a hookup app, according to Supreme Court documents.
Mole, then 35, was arrested and charged after the boy’s mother found them together, Thursday’s ruling said. The boy did not know Mole was a police officer at the time of the encounter, and the boy had told Mole he was 18, the ruling said.
In Ohio the age of consent is 16. A jury deadlocked on that charge against Mole, but he was convicted under the law that banned police officers from having sex with minors.
O’Connor argued that there was no evidence Mole had used his status as an officer “to gain access to or bend the will” of the child.
Dissenting Justice Sharon Kennedy, a former police officer herself, said that banning police officers from having sex with children serves a legitimate purpose for society.
“If a peace officer discovered after the fact that the person with whom he engaged in sexual conduct was a minor, he would have a strong incentive to do whatever is necessary to ensure that his employer never found out, even to the point of compromising his integrity,” Kennedy explained.
What do you think of this? Should this law still exist? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
(Article By James Carter)