State laws do not generally give minors the ability to consent to sexual acts, and you can be found guilty of statutory rape if you are found to have had a sexual relationship with a minor. However, many states have a Romeo and Juliet law in effect. This law can come into play in a statutory rape case, and it may keep you out of prison if you have been accused of having a sexual relationship with a minor. If you have been accused of having a sexual relationship with someone who is underage, you will need an experienced Houston child sex abuse lawyer to help you through every part of the complex legal process. The Law Offices of Ned Barnett has helped many clients who have been accused of statutory rape, and we understand how a Romeo and Juliet law can be applied to various situations in which the alleged victim and perpetrator do not have a great difference in age.
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Statutory Rape Laws by State
An individual who is 19 years old or older has sexual contact with someone who is younger than 16 but older than 12 has committed sexual abuse. Thus, if an adult has sex with a minor below the age of consent, the adult may be charged with statutory rape. In Arkansas, a person must be at least 16 years old in order to consent to sex. Additionally, a person under 17 can legally consent to sex with a person who is no more than 10 years older.
April 14, You asked for a comparison of statutory rape statutes by state. Most states do not refer specifically to statutory rape; instead they use designations such as sexual assault and sexual abuse to identify prohibited activity. Regardless of the designation, these crimes are based on the premise that until a person reaches a certain age, he is legally incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse. Thus, instead of including force as a criminal element, theses crimes make it illegal for anyone to engage in sexual intercourse with anyone below a certain age, other than his spouse.
Nicholas Syrett does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence. The recent outrage over Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore allegedly targeting teenage girls for sex has elicited reports that some evangelical churches actually encourage teenage girls to date older men. It seems unlikely that Moore was ever interested in marrying any of the women who have thus far accused him of unwanted sexual attention and assault. However, Moore is married to a woman 14 years his junior whom he first met when she was 15 and he was