Facing the Penalties of a Statutory Rape Charge

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The laws regarding statutory rape will vary from state to state.  The legal age for consensual sex is mainly sixteen in the majority of states.  Some states allow the age of consent to be lowered if parental consent is given.

Statutory rape mainly refers to having sexual intercourse with someone below the age of consent. A few states have enacted or Romeo and Juliet laws to protect young couples having sex in which one of them is over at the age of consent, and the other is still considered a minor. Statutory rape is mainly used to describe someone that has already reached puberty. 

The age of consent is 16 in all states except:

  • Arizona, California, North Dakota, Oregon, Virginia, Wisconsin. (17 years old)
  • Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Texas (18 years old) Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, Utah and Wyoming
  • However, the age of consent is 14 years of age in Hawaii.

Romeo & Juliet Laws

Some states have adopted slightly weaker statutory rape penalties depending on the age gap between the two people if it is applicable to the Romeo & Juliet Laws between a older boyfriend and a minor girlfriend. However, this age gap does not refer to situations where sex is forced or the person is in authority.

State Penalties for Statutory Rape include:

  • Alaska - Charged as second-degree sexual abuse of a minor if the person is 16 or older, and they have sex with someone between the ages of 13 to 15. The Romeo & Juliet Law states they must be within three years. The penalty is up to 10 years in prison.
  • Arkansas - Charged as a fourth-degree sexual assault if the adult is at least 20 years, and the minor is below 16 years of age. The penalty is up to one year in prison.
  • Florida - Charged as an unlawful sexual activity if the adult is at least 24 years old and the minor is 16 or 17 years old. The penalty is up to 15 years in prison.
  • Idaho - Charged as rape of a female if she is 18 years old. The penalty is from one year up to life in prison.
  • Kentucky - Charged as second-degree rape if the person is over 18 years old and the minor is below 14 years old. It can also be a charge of third-degree rape if the person is over age 21 and the minor is below age 16. Penalties for second-degree rape are five to ten years in prison, and one to five years for third-degree rape. 

Getting Help First

If you or someone you know has been charged with statutory rape, it is advised to seek help immediately from a qualified attorney.

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