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In re D.B.

Ohio Supreme Court
129 Ohio St. 3d 104 (2011)


The prosecution (plaintiff) charged 12-year-old D.B. (defendant) with the statutory and forcible rape of M.G., an 11-year-old boy. The prosecution had also charged D.B. with the statutory rape of 12-year-old A.W. but dropped that charge before trial. A.W. testified to seeing D.B. and M.G. engage in anal sex. A.W. and M.G. said D.B. always initiated the incidents and either bribed M.G. with video games or used physical force to convince him to engage in sexual conduct. But A.W. said M.G. always agreed to sexual conduct beforehand, and the judge dismissed the forcible-rape counts. The court found no question that the sexual acts detailed in the remaining charges occurred, but could not find D.B. used force during any of those acts. As a result, the court adjudicated D.B. delinquent based solely on violating the statutory-rape law. D.B. appealed, arguing the statutory-rape law was unconstitutionally vague and arbitrary as applied to him. The appellate court upheld the statute’s constitutionality and D.B.’s adjudication. D.B. appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Lanzinger, J.)

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