(A) No person, with purpose to coerce another into taking or refraining from action concerning which the other person has a legal freedom of choice, shall do any of the following:
(1) Threaten to commit any offense;
(2) Utter or threaten any calumny against any person;
(3) Expose or threaten to expose any matter tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, to damage any person's personal or business repute, or to impair any person's credit;
(4) Institute or threaten criminal proceedings against any person;
(5) Take, withhold, or threaten to take or withhold official action, or cause or threaten to cause official action to be taken or withheld.
(B) Divisions (A)(4) and (5) of this section shall not be construed to prohibit a prosecutor or court from doing any of the following in good faith and in the interests of justice:
(1) Offering or agreeing to grant, or granting immunity from prosecution pursuant to section 2945.44 of the Revised Code;
(2) In return for a plea of guilty to one or more offenses charged or to one or more other or lesser offenses, or in return for the testimony of the accused in a case to which the accused is not a party, offering or agreeing to dismiss, or dismissing one or more charges pending against an accused, or offering or agreeing to impose, or imposing a certain sentence or modification of sentence;
(3) Imposing a community control sanction on certain conditions, including without limitation requiring the offender to make restitution or redress to the victim of the offense.
(C) It is an affirmative defense to a charge under division (A)(3), (4), or (5) of this section that the actor's conduct was a reasonable response to the circumstances that occasioned it, and that the actor's purpose was limited to any of the following:
(1) Compelling another to refrain from misconduct or to desist from further misconduct;
(2) Preventing or redressing a wrong or injustice;
(3) Preventing another from taking action for which the actor reasonably believed the other person to be disqualified;
(4) Compelling another to take action that the actor reasonably believed the other person to be under a duty to take.
(D) Whoever violates this section is guilty of coercion, a misdemeanor of the second degree.
(E) As used in this section:
(1) "Threat" includes a direct threat and a threat by innuendo.
(2) "Community control sanction" has the same meaning as in section 2929.01 of the Revised Code.
Effective Date: 01-01-2004