Are you a survivor of sexual violence and the perpetrator has been charged with the crime in a Summit or Medina County Common Pleas or Municipal Court? You may also be a non-offending parent or caregiver of a minor child who has been sexually assaulted. Call the Rape Crisis Center of Medina & Summit Counties to speak with an advocate who can accompany you to court proceedings. You are not alone.
There are many different types of sexually oriented offenses ranging from misdemeanors, such as “Sexual Imposition” (groping) to felonies, such as “Rape” or “Sexual Battery”. Depending on the crime and where it occurred, determines what court will handle the case. Our advocates can help you understand the criminal justice process and support you before, during and after the case.
Filing a police report in the city where the crime occurred is the first step in a criminal case. If misdemeanor charges are filed, they are handled in municipal courts. If felony charges are filed, survivors may need to testify at Grand Jury in the county court before a felony case is indicted. If the Grand Jury determines there is enough evidence to indict the case, it will be assigned to a prosecutor, a courtroom and a judge. The prosecutor represents the State of Ohio in criminal cases at no cost to the victim. If the Grand Jury determines there is not enough evidence, the case will not go any further. Remember that if the case is not indicted, it is not your fault.
Some survivors choose to attend all court hearings, which is a victim’s right to do so. Others only want to be notified of the outcome of a hearing. If you wish to receive notifications about court hearings, contact the prosecutor’s office handling your case to request this victims’ right. Criminal cases may take many months to come to a resolution and survivors should know that court dates can get continued (rescheduled) for a variety of reasons. If the case ends up going to trial, survivors are usually required to testify.
In some instances, a survivor may decide to file a civil case against a perpetrator for the same harmful conduct. This process is entirely different than a criminal case. Survivors should contact an attorney for assistance with civil cases. As in criminal cases, civil cases may also take many months to resolve.
Rape Crisis Center Services
Having a Rape Crisis Center advocate can give you the emotional support you need to get through both criminal and civil cases involving sexual violence. In addition, we offer free, confidential services including our 24-hour hotline, counseling and support groups. Always remember that Rape Crisis Center advocates are not attorneys and cannot provide legal advice.
The following county and municipal court websites contain case information listed by the defendant’s name.
Ohio Victims’ Rights Booklet
Click here to view the Ohio Victims Rights Booklet