2006 Ohio Revised Code - 2919.23. Interference with custody.
(A) No person, knowing the person is without privilege to do so or being reckless in that regard, shall entice, take, keep, or harbor a person identified in division (A)(1), (2), or (3) of this section from the parent, guardian, or custodian of the person identified in division (A)(1), (2), or (3) of this section:
(1) A child under the age of eighteen, or a mentally or physically handicapped child under the age of twenty-one;
(2) A person committed by law to an institution for delinquent, unruly, neglected, abused, or dependent children;
(3) A person committed by law to an institution for the mentally ill or mentally retarded.
(B) No person shall aid, abet, induce, cause, or encourage a child or a ward of the juvenile court who has been committed to the custody of any person, department, or public or private institution to leave the custody of that person, department, or institution without legal consent.
(C) It is an affirmative defense to a charge of enticing or taking under division (A)(1) of this section, that the actor reasonably believed that the actor's conduct was necessary to preserve the child's health or safety. It is an affirmative defense to a charge of keeping or harboring under division (A) of this section, that the actor in good faith gave notice to law enforcement or judicial authorities within a reasonable time after the child or committed person came under the actor's shelter, protection, or influence.
(D) (1) Whoever violates this section is guilty of interference with custody.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in this division, a violation of division (A)(1) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the child who is the subject of a violation of division (A)(1) of this section is removed from the state or if the offender previously has been convicted of an offense under this section, a violation of division (A)(1) of this section is a felony of the fifth degree. If the child who is the subject of a violation of division (A)(1) of this section suffers physical harm as a result of the violation, a violation of division (A)(1) of this section is a felony of the fourth degree.
(3) A violation of division (A)(2) or (3) of this section is a misdemeanor of the third degree.
HISTORY: 134 v H 511 (Eff 1-1-74); 136 v H 85 (Eff 11-28-75); 141 v H 349 (Eff 3-6-86); 143 v S 3 (Eff 4-11-91); 146 v S 2. Eff 7-1-96.
Not analogous to former RC § 2919.23 (RS § 294; 71 v 21; 81 v 153, 156; 99 v 108; GC § 12936; Bureau of Code Revision, 10-1-53), repealed 134 v H 511, § 2, eff 1-1-74.
The effective date is set by section 6 of SB 2.
19xx Committee Report or Comment.
1974 Committee Comment to H 511
This section is based in part on former prohibitions against child stealing and against enticing away a child in the custody of the Ohio Youth Commission. This section, however, also includes enticing away or harboring persons under commitment to institutions for the mentally ill or deficient. In addition, it provides a defense to enticing a child away based on a reasonable belief that it is necessary for the child's protection, and also provides a defense to harboring a child based on the actor's timely notification of authorities of the child's whereabouts.
For example, a neighbor who takes a child whom he knows is cruelly treated by his parents, and who honestly believes that if the child is not removed from them he may suffer serious injury or disease, may assert this as a defense to a charges of taking or enticing under the section. If a person gives shelter to a child whom he has reasonable cause to believe is a runaway, he has a defense to a charges of keeping or harboring under the section if he promptly notifies law enforcement or judicial authorities that he has taken the child in.
To a limited extent, an offense under this section may be a lesser included offense to child stealing under section 2905.04 of the Revised Code.
Interference with custody is a misdemeanor of the third degree.
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