130th Ohio General Assembly
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(122nd General Assembly)
(Substitute House Bill Number 429)



AN ACT
To amend sections 2909.05 and 2927.11 of the Revised Code to include the term "cemetery," defined to include certain American Indian burial sites, in the offenses of vandalism and desecration and to modify the nature of the physical harm needed to commit the offense of vandalism when the property involved is used in a profession, business, trade, or occupation.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1 .  That sections 2909.05 and 2927.11 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 2909.05.  (A) No person shall knowingly cause serious physical harm to an occupied structure or any of its contents.

(B)(1) No person shall knowingly cause serious physical harm to property that is owned or possessed by another, when either of the following applies:

(a) The property is used by its owner or possessor in the owner's or possessor's profession, business, trade, or occupation, and the value of the property or the amount of physical harm involved is five hundred dollars or more;

(b) Regardless of the value of the property or the amount of damage done, the property or its equivalent is necessary in order for its owner or possessor to engage in the owner's or possessor's profession, business, trade, or occupation.

(2) No person shall knowingly cause serious physical harm to property that is owned, leased, or controlled by a governmental entity. A governmental entity includes, but is not limited to, the state or a political subdivision of the state, a school district, the board of trustees of a public library or public university, or any other body corporate and politic responsible for governmental activities only in geographical areas smaller than that of the state.

(C) No person, without privilege to do so, shall knowingly cause serious physical harm to any tomb, monument, gravestone, or other similar structure that is used as a memorial for the dead; to any fence, railing, curb, or other property that is used to protect, enclose, or ornament any place of burial cemetery; or to a place of burial cemetery.

(D) No person, without privilege to do so, shall knowingly cause physical harm to a place of burial by breaking and entering into a tomb, crypt, casket, or other structure that is used as a memorial for the dead or as an enclosure for the dead.

(E) Whoever violates this section is guilty of vandalism. Except as otherwise provided in this division, vandalism is a felony of the fifth degree that is punishable by a fine of up to two thousand five hundred dollars in addition to the penalties specified for a felony of the fifth degree in sections 2929.11 to 2929.18 of the Revised Code. If the value of the property or the amount of physical harm involved is five thousand dollars or more but less than one hundred thousand dollars, vandalism is a felony of the fourth degree. If the value of the property or the amount of physical harm involved is one hundred thousand dollars or more, vandalism is a felony of the third degree.

(F) For purposes of this section, "serious:

(1) "Cemetery" means any place of burial and includes burial sites that contain American Indian burial objects placed with or containing American Indian human remains.

(2) "Serious physical harm" means physical harm to property that results in loss to the value of the property of five hundred dollars or more.

Sec. 2927.11.  (A) No person, without privilege to do so, shall purposely deface, damage, pollute, or otherwise physically mistreat any of the following:

(1) The flag of the United States or of this state;

(2) Any public monument;

(3) Any historical or commemorative marker, or any structure, Indian mound or earthwork, CEMETERY, thing, or site of great historical or archaeological interest;

(4) A place of worship, its furnishings, or religious artifacts or sacred texts within the place of worship;

(5) A work of art or museum piece;

(6) Any other object of reverence or sacred devotion.

(B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of desecration. Violation of division (A)(1), (2), (3), (5), or (6) of this section is a misdemeanor of the second degree. Violation of division (A)(4) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree that is punishable by a fine of up to four thousand dollars in addition to the penalties specified for a misdemeanor of the first degree in section 2929.21 of the Revised Code.

(C) As used in this section, "cemetery" means any place of burial and includes burial sites that contain American Indian burial objects placed with or containing American Indian human remains.

SECTION 2 .  That existing sections 2909.05 and 2927.11 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

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