Definitions & Examples


Sexual Misconduct. A broad range of behaviors including sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, stalking, voyeurism, and any other conduct of a sexual nature that is nonconsensual, or is carried out through force, threat, intimidation or coercion.

Sexual Assault. Any intentional, non-consensual and/or coerced sexual contact. Physical resistance need not occur to meet the definition of sexual assault.

Stalking. Repeated behaviors or activities whether in person, online, or through any other means which threaten or endanger the safety, physical or mental health, life or property of another or creates a reasonable fear of such threat or action.

Dating Violence. Violence or abusive behavior (sexual, physical, or threat of violence) committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship is determined based on a consideration of the length and type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic Violence. Violence or abusive behavior (sexual, physical, or threat of violence) used to maintain control or power within a current or former relationship and which is committed by any of the following:

  1. A current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
  2. A person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
  3. A person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;
  4. By any other person against an adult or youth victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the State of Ohio (See O.R.C. § 2919.25 Domestic Violence).

Sexual Exploitation. Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own benefit or advantage or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the person being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute another form of sexual misconduct. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, prostituting another, non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity, permitting others to secretly observe or record consensual activity, or engaging in voyeurism.

Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2907 defines “Sex Offenses” under Ohio law.


Mary and Peter have been together for six months. One night, they engage in consensual sexual activity. Without Peter’s knowledge, Mary sets up her digital camera and videotapes them having sex. The next day, Mary shares the video online.

Peter consented to have sex with Mary; he did not consent to being videotaped and he did not consent to the video being posted. This is sexual exploitation and is a form of sexual misconduct. Even if Mary didn’t share the video it is still sexual exploitation because Peter did not consent to the videotape.

Zack and Ann are at a party and have been drinking and flirting on and off all night. About 12:30 a.m. Zack sees Ann leave the room and come back a short time later. He notices that Ann is a little unsteady on her feet. When they start talking again Ann slurs some of her words and they both laugh. They have more to drink and begin to make out. Zack suggests they go back to the dorm and offers to walk Ann to her room and she agrees. While they are walking back, Ann is unsteady on her feet and Zack helps her keep her balance by putting his arm around her waist. When they get back to Ann’s room Zack goes inside with Ann and leads her to the bed. They begin to become intimate. Ann is becoming passive, stops talking and seems to be confused. Zack continues and has sex with Ann. The next morning, Ann thinks they had sex but cannot piece together the events leading up to it.

Ann was unsteady on her feet, slurring her words, and while with Zack she became passive and confused. Ann was clearly under the influence of and incapacitated by alcohol and because of this she was unable to give effective consent to engage in sex with Zack. It does not matter if Zack did not know how much Ann had to drink or if Zack was also drunk. There were signs that a reasonable person would see and conclude that Ann was intoxicated, but Zack had sex with her anyway. Zack has committed sexual misconduct by sexually assaulting Ann.

Debbie and Courtney have been in a relationship for a few weeks. One night, Debbie asks Courtney to come over. When Courtney arrives, Debbie kisses her passionately and leads her into the bedroom. They each express their excitement and desire to “hook up,” and are soon making out in Debbie’s bed. After a while, Debbie tries to engage in oral sex with Courtney. Courtney tells Debbie that she really likes her, but she isn’t ready for that. Debbie tells Courtney it’s ok to be shy and keeps going; Courtney again says she isn’t ready. Debbie tells Courtney to stop complaining and if she doesn’t stop complaining; Debbie is going to post that Courtney is into women. Courtney hasn’t come out yet and is terrified that her family will find out. Courtney becomes quiet and Debbie proceeds to have oral sex with her.

This is coerced sex because Debbie intimidated and threatened Courtney; Courtney was afraid that Debbie would “out” her. Even though Courtney stopped objecting her silence was not consent. Debbie has engaged in sexual misconduct by sexually assaulting Courtney.