Statutory Rape: The Age of Consent
Within the United States, United States servicemembers are further subject to the local state law both when off-post. The local state law is incorporated, for the most part, into federal law when on-post per the Assimilative Crimes Act 18 U. Depending upon the relevant status of forces agreement , United States servicemembers are also subject to the local criminal laws of the host nation for acts committed off-post. The age of consent in the District of Columbia is 16 with a close-in-age exemption for those within four years of age.
According to the Code of the District of Columbia, a relationship is considered "significant" if one of the partners is:. As of August 1, , the age of consent in each state in the United States is either 16 years of age, 17 years of age, or 18 years of age. The most common age of consent is 16,  which is a common age of consent in most other Western countries. These state laws are discussed in detail below. Most of these state laws refer to statutory rape using other names instead of "statutory rape" in particular. Nevada criminalizes "statutory sexual seduction" while Pennsylvania criminalizes "statutory sexual assault".
In most states there is not a single age in which a person may consent, but rather consent varies depending upon the minimum age of the younger party, the minimum age of the older party, or the differences in age. Some states have a single age of consent. In Smith and Kercher wrote "Because of the large number of potential statutory rape cases, it is said that many jurisdictions will "pick and choose" which cases they want to investigate and prosecute.
Smith and Kercher wrote that there had been "large inconsistencies" among the decisions of prosecution and sentencing of these cases, and there had been accusations that minority males who have sex with minority women resulting in pregnancy or who have sex with white women have faced the brunt of enforcement.
The age of consent in Alabama is From by articles of the Code of Alabama:. The State Legislature passed Act making it a crime for any school employee to have any sexual relations with a student under the age of A school employee includes a teacher, school administrator, student teacher, safety or resource officer, coach, and other school employee. Age of the student and consent is not a defense. So thus, the age of consent of 16 cannot be used.
Any individual convicted of these offenses, regardless if they received prison time or not, will have to register as a Sex Offender for the remainder of their life. There was also a law which prohibited K teachers from having sex with students under age 19, and violators could face prison time or get on the sex offender registry. Alaska Statutes — Title Criminal Law — Chapter The age of consent in Arizona is However, there exist in the legislation defenses to prosecution if the defendant is close-in-age to the "victim" or a spouse of the "victim". Arizona Revised Statute A.
Under 18, the younger must not be less than 14, or if so, there is a defense if the minor is not more 4 years younger if 12 or above, not more 3 years younger if under Sexual intercourse of a major and a minor under 14 is a rape.
What Is the Age of Consent?
Arkansas Code — Title 5. Criminal Offenses — Chapter In California, there is a crime of "Unlawful sexual intercourse", which is an act of sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 18 who is not the spouse of the person. So if a year-old willingly has sex with a year old, both have committed a crime, although it is only a misdemeanor.
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The punishment is varied, depending on the ages of the perpetrator and the victim, and there are more severe penalties if there is a wider gap between the age of the perpetrator and the age of the victim: There are also civil sanctions possible for a violation stated above. There are separate crimes for committing sodomy with minors. There are separate crimes for committing any lewd or lascivious act with a person under the age of The age of consent, at the time applying only when the girl is the younger party, was 10 when California introduced its penal code in In the age of consent was raised to In the age of consent became The age of consent in California has been 18 since Some media sources reported that the age of consent in California in the s was 14 or 16 but in fact it was and has been In the s Governor of California Pete Wilson stated that there was a trend of men in their mid-to-late 20s having sex with and impregnating teenage girls around 14 years of age and that the statutory rape laws needed to be enforced to prevent this.
In Kristin Olsen , a Republican member of the State Assembly of California , sponsored a bill that criminalizes sexual relations between K teachers and students, including students over 18, as well as sexual text messages and other communications aimed at seducing a student.
The bill was proposed after a year-old teacher and year-old high school student publicly announced that they were in a relationship. By there had been civil court rulings in California stating that minors under 18 may consent to sexual activity, even though the age of consent is 18 under state criminal law.
The age of consent in Colorado is 17; however, there exists in the legislation close-in-age exceptions , which allow those aged 15 and 16 to engage in acts with those less than ten years older and those less than 15 to engage in acts with those less than four years older.
What Are the Dating Laws in the State of Florida?
A year-old may not, however, consent to sex with a person who is in a position of trust with respect to the person under the age of eighteen. Notwithstanding the age of consent, however, for purposes of child prostitution offenses in Colorado, a "child" means a person under the age of eighteen years. Reasonable mistake of age, or similarity in age, is not a defense to these offenses.
All child prostitution offenses are class three felonies class one felonies are capital offenses, class two felonies include second degree murder. So, while it is not a crime for a year-old to have non-commercial sex with a year-old in Colorado, it is a serious crime punishable by four to twelve years in prison for an 18 year old to engage in any sexual act, or to present at a "place of prostitution" with an intent do so, for money or any other thing of value with a seventeen-year-old with the reasonable belief that the minor was under eighteen years old. The same conduct, entered into with an eighteen-year-old and without a belief that the prostitute was under eighteen years of age, would be a misdemeanor.
Those under the age of eighteen are also children for the crime of inducing or coercing someone to have sex or to have sexual conduct with another for the voyeur's gratification, or to expose themselves to another for the voyeur's sexual gratification, C. There is a marriage exception to both Colorado's statutory rape law, C. However, while Colorado law does recognize common law marriages entered into when both spouses are eighteen years of age or older, it does not recognize common law marriages entered into in Colorado or elsewhere after September 1, , when one spouse is under eighteen years of age.
The general age of consent in Connecticut is This applies in most relationships. Connecticut recognizes that minors who are at least 13 can consent to sexual activity if and only if there is less than a 3-year age difference. However consensual, sexual intercourse within the 3-year age difference by a minor 13 through 17 years old may , upon a complaint, lead the Connecticut Superior Court to a "family with service needs" finding.
Such a finding would allow the Court to issue orders as it finds necessary in dealing with the matter.
Consensual sexual intercourse over the 3-year age difference where the minor is 13 to 15 years old would subject the older party to a charge of Sexual Assault, 2nd Degree, in violation of C. Any juvenile offender 14 years old or older has the case automatically transferred to the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court by operation of law, and thus stands before the court to be tried as an adult.
A guilty verdict would result in conviction of a Class B felony sex offense , with a mandatory minimum of 9 months and maximum 20 years imprisonment. It would not matter if the older person did not know of the age difference, or if the younger person lied about age. However, if the offender is 17 years old or younger, has a clean record, and such sexual activity was consensual, Youthful Offender status a pre-trial diversionary program that seals the court record and results in a dismissal of charges may be granted.
Previously the Connecticut age gap was two years, not three. By there had been a proposal to increase the gap to four years to reduce the number of close-in-age statutory rape cases being prosecuted, but three years was selected as a compromise. Connecticut also recognizes that minors under 13 are released from criminal liability as to consensual sexual activity if and only if there is less than a 2-year age difference.
Consensual between minors sexual intercourse over the 2-year age difference where the minor is under 13 years old would subject the older minor to a charge of Sexual Assault, 1st Degree, in violation of C. A guilty verdict would result in conviction of a Class A felony sex offense , with a mandatory minimum of 5—10 years and maximum 25 years imprisonment.
However, the offender would have the same chance to apply for Youthful Offender status see Sexual Assault, 2nd Degree above provided the criteria are met. A juvenile offender 13 years old and younger would be charged as a "serious juvenile offender" under C. Because the charge is a sex offense, the juvenile prosecutor can request that the proceeding designated a "serious sexual offender prosecution".
Unless the juvenile waives the right to a trial by jury , the case proceeds to the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court, where the juvenile must face trial as an adult. If the juvenile agrees to the waiver, the case will proceed through the juvenile system with a bench trial. The age of consent in Delaware is 18, but it is legal for teenagers aged 16 and 17 to engage in sexual intercourse as long as the older partner is younger than Definitions generally applicable to sexual offences.
Children who have not yet reached their twelfth birthday are deemed unable to consent to a sexual act under any circumstances. Rape in the fourth degree; class C felony. The age of consent in Florida is 18,  but close-in-age exemptions exist. By law, the exception permits a person 23 years of age or younger to engage in legal sexual activity with a minor aged 16 or As used in this section, "sexual activity" means oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another; however, sexual activity does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose Florida code, Title XLVI, Chapter A new law passed in stated that people convicted of statutory rape may be removed from the sex offender list if they were no more than four years older than their victims, had only the statutory rape offense on their records, and had victims aged 14— The age of consent in Georgia is 16 and there is no close-in-age exception , though the offenses are a misdemeanor rather than a felony in cases where the perpetrator is less than 19 years of age and is no more than 4 years older than the victim.
The crime of " statutory rape " makes it illegal for a perpetrator of any age to have sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 16 that they are not married to. This offense carries a minimum sentence of 1 year in prison, and a maximum of 20 years. If the offender is 21 years of age or older, the minimum is raised to 10 years in prison, and the offender is subject to sex offender sentencing guidelines.
The crime " child molestation " makes it illegal for anyone to engage in "any immoral or indecent act to or in the presence of or with any child under the age of 16 years with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the person", as well as electronically transmit any depiction of such an act. For repeat offenders, the minimum 10 years and the maximum is life imprisonment. This crime has the same close-in-age exception as statutory rape stated above if the victim is 14 or 15 years old and the actor is 18 or younger and within 4 years of age.
A third applicable crime is " aggravated child molestation ", which is any act of the previously mentioned child molestation that causes injuries to the victim, or involves an act of "sodomy" defined under state law as any act of oral sex or anal sex. However, if the victim is 13, 14 or 15 years old, the actor is 18 or younger and within 4 years of age, and the act committed was "sodomy" and did not cause injury, the crime is reduced to a misdemeanor.
This exception was added after a landmark case, Wilson v. State of Georgia occurred in and caused lawmakers to think the statute should have a close-in-age exception. At the time because of the words of the law, a year-old boy was sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a year-old girl.
Georgia was notoriously resistant to raising its age of consent in the Progressive Era. In , the Georgia Supreme Court reversed the conviction of a man convicted of raping a year-old girl because the age of consent in Georgia was 10 at the time. Nonetheless, the Court recommended raising the Georgia age of consent, saying "the age of consent in many States is higher than in this State, and should be made higher here; and a committee of ladies" is petitioning to do that.
As it turned out, Georgia's age of consent would remain at 10 until , and even then it was only raised to The age of consent in Hawaii is There is however a close-in-age exemption, which allows those aged 14 and 15 to consent to sex with those less than five years older. Previously the age of consent was 14, the lowest in the United States. Avery Chumbley , a member of the Hawaiian Senate , had made efforts to raise the age of consent.
The age of consent in Illinois is 17, and rises to 18 with someone who has a position of authority or trust over the victim.
Florida Age of Consent & Statutory Rape Laws
There is no close-in-age exception, crossing the age boundary is Criminal Sexual Assault. Any sexual contact between minors the age of 9 and 16 is Criminal sexual abuse. Although Illinois' minimum marriage age with parental consent or court order is 16,  there is no statutory exception to the age of sexual consent. Bill was introduced in to decriminalize sexual relationships between children 13—16 years old and those fewer than five years older, but the bill failed to pass. In a bill was proposed that would allow people who violated the age of consent laws and were close in age with their victims to petition a judge to be removed from the sex offender registry.
Republican state representative Dennis Reboletti of Elmhurst stated that he did not believe judges should be able to reverse decisions made by prosecutors. The age of consent in Indiana is The law allows the actor a defense to prosecution if the victim is currently or was previously married the absolute minimum marriageable age in Indiana is 15 , although this defense does not apply in the case of violence, threats or drugs. This is not a close-in-age exception though, but merely a defense in court.