A divided Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday declared unconstitutional a law that made it illegal for police officers to have sex with minors simply on the basis of their profession.
The court ruled 4-3 that the law arbitrarily added police to a ban on professionals having sex with minors that includes people with authority over children such as teachers or coaches.
The government can’t punish a class of professionals like police without making a connection between their job and the crime, Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said, 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.