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Franklin County Criminal Law Casebook
Reproduced with permission from
Allen V. Adair and the Franklin County Public Defender Office

CONTRIBUTING TO THE UNRULINESS OR DELINQUENCY OF A CHILD (151)

R.C. 2919.24 -- Contributing to unruliness or delinquency

State v. Moody, 104 Ohio St. 3d 244, 2004-Ohio-6395 -- Syllabus: "The culpable mental state of recklessness applies to the offense of contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a child under former R.C. 2919.24." At ¶15: "The fact the statute contains the phrase 'No person shall' does not mean that it is a strict liability offense."

State v. Moody, Champaign App. No. 2002 CA 13, 2003-Ohio-1566 -- R.C. 2919.24(A)(1) does not impose strict liability. But see State v. Wood (1989), 63 Ohio App. 3d 855, syllabus.

State v. Wood (1989), 63 Ohio App. 3d 855 -- Syllabus by the Court: "(1) R.C. 2919.24 imposes strict criminal liability. (2) A parent may be charged and convicted of violating R.C. 2919.24 when the parent fails to send their child to school even though R.C. 3321.38 also provides penalties for failure to comply with the compulsory education law."

In re Lomeli (1995), 106 Ohio App. 3d 242 -- A juvenile may be charged with contributing to the unruliness of a minor.

State v. Cole (1982), 8 Ohio App. 3d 416 -- (1) In a prosecution for violation of R.C. 2151.41, contributing to the unruliness of a child, sexual conduct of the child other than on the date of the alleged offense is not relevant for impeachment or to show that the child was already "unruly." (2) The statute imposes strict criminal liability.

State v. Lukens (1990), 66 Ohio App. 3d 794 -- Whether child was already unruly is not an issue. Defendant not prejudiced by court's refusal to admit juvenile records to this end. At p. 800: "In a similar vein, a party charged with polluting a river may argue many others have previously dumped garbage into the stream..."

State v. Andriola (1990), 70 Ohio App. 3d 69 -- Proof that the child is actually unruly is not required when the allegation is that the defendant acted in a way tending to cause unruliness.

State v. Thompson (1994), 97 Ohio App. 3d 629 -- R.C. 2151.421(G), conferring immunity from civil or criminal liability on any person reporting in good faith known or suspected child abuse, applies to the consequences of reporting the abuse to the authorities and does not protect defendant accused of harboring child without parent's permission.

State v. Rigg (1994), 92 Ohio App. 3d 113 -- Adult was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor after becoming sexually involved with Wireman, a 17 year old friend of her son, who had been released into her custody under house arrest. As Wireman was now of age, it was improper to make it a condition of her probation that she have no contact with him.

State v. Black (1993), 85 Ohio App. 3d 771, 778 -- In a contributing to the unruliness of a child prosecution, the rape shield law does not bar evidence of prior unsubstantiated claims of sexual abuse made by the juvenile. False accusations of rape do not constitute sexual activity of the victim. State v. Boggs (1992), 63 Ohio St. 3d 418 applied.

State v. Michael (1996), 108 Ohio App. 3d 285 -- Grandmother's conviction for contributing to unruliness was not supported by the evidence where there was no proof she affirmatively kept children home from school or failed to take steps to ensure attendance.

State v. Ellis (1989), 64 Ohio App. 3d 158 -- Father's conviction for contributing upheld where he refereed children's game of strip poker and allowed consumption of alcoholic beverages.

State v. Ellis (1992), 83 Ohio App. 3d 362 -- Defendant involved his minor girlfriend in a theft from the convenience store where she worked and later married her. Held that she was competent to testify against him both as to a contributing to delinquency charge (wherein she was the victim) and the related theft charge.

State v. Price (1985), 26 Ohio App. 3d 41 -- Prior conviction for contributing to the delinquency of a minor does not bar prosecution of an adult for related burglary. Also see State, ex rel. Wall, v. Grossman (1980), 61 Ohio St. 2d 4; State v. Gose (1986), 33 Ohio App. 3d 288 (liquor law violation).

Newark v. Vazirani (1990), 48 Ohio St. 3d 81 -- Municipal ordinance analogous to contributing statute and ordinance proscribing sale of beer to minors are allied offenses of similar import. But the analytical method followed was overruled in State v. Rance (1999), 85 Ohio St. 3d 632, and same result probably would not follow under the new analysis.

State v. Moore (1978), 62 Ohio App. 2d 86 -- Headnote: "The crimes of gross sexual imposition...and contributing to the delinquency of a child...are separate and distinct crimes and the latter is not a lesser offense included within the former."

State v. S.R. (1992), 63 Ohio St. 3d 590 -- Defendant was found not guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and sought to have records made during investigation by children services agency sealed. Syllabus: "Records of a county children services board investigation made pursuant to R.C. 5153.17 and 2151.141 are 'official records' within the meaning of R.C. 2953.52. The trial court should weigh the privacy interests of the person seeking to seal the official records against the legitimate needs of the agency in maintaining those records."

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