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In 1880, the age of consent was set at 10 or 12 in most states, with the exception of Delaware where it was 7. Previously the Connecticut age gap was two years, not three. 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. Links to Statutes Cited (in numerical order) 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 30. Definitions generally applicable to sexual offences. (j) A child who has not yet reached his or her sixteenth birthday is deemed unable to consent to a sexual act with a person more than 4 years older than said child.

By 1920 ages of consent generally rose to 16–18 and small adjustments to these laws occurred after 1920. 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. By 2007 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. 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. Because the charge is a sex offense, the juvenile prosecutor can request that the proceeding designated a "serious sexual offender prosecution". Children who have not yet reached their twelfth birthday are deemed unable to consent to a sexual act under any circumstances.

In 1998 Mississippi became the last state to remove this provision from its code. 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. However, in 2009 Senate Bill 185 amended the text of article 768 from anyone under 16 years to anyone under 18 years.

The laws were designed to prosecute people far older than the victims rather than teenagers close in age; therefore prosecutors rarely pursued teenagers in relationships with other teenagers even though the wordings of the laws made some close-in-age teenage relationships illegal. From 2005 onwards states have started to enact Jessica's Law statutes, which provide for lengthy penalties (often a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and lifetime electronic monitoring) for the most aggravated forms of child sexual abuse (usually of a child under age 12). Louisiana, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the death penalty for rape of a child was unconstitutional. Such a finding would allow the Court to issue orders as it finds necessary in dealing with the matter. § 768 Unlawful sexual contact in the second degree; class F felony.

2243(a) refers to situations where such younger person is under the age of 16 years, has attained 12 years of age, and the older person is more than 4 years older than the 12-to-15-year-old (children under 12 are handled under 18 U. 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. Even though state laws regarding the general age of consent and age gap laws differ, it is common for people in the United States to assume that sexual activity with someone under 18 is statutory rape. 18-3-402, the crime of sexual assault upon a child by a person in a position of trust, C. 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.

In 2011 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." In some states it is common to only prosecute the male in events where both parties in a heterosexual relationship are below the age of consent. There is a marriage exception to both Colorado's statutory rape law, C. However, if the victim is 14 or 15 years old and the actor is age 18 or younger and within 4 years of the victim's age, the crime is reduced to a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison.

The information is not presented as a source of legal advice.

You should not rely, for legal advice, on statements or representations made by RAINN.

This subsection is ambiguous on its face and seems to apply only when the minor is transported across state or international lines to a place where the conduct is already illegal to begin with. Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (10 U. There is also a mistake-in-age defense if the minor is over 12, but not if the minor is under 12. Depending upon the relevant status of forces agreement, United States service members are also subject to the local criminal laws of the host nation for acts committed off-post. It can reasonably be assumed that this defense would extend to 16 and 17 year olds as well, but as the law is currently written it is unclear if 16 and 17 year olds can freely consent with anyone under 30, or if charges may still apply under 768 (a class F felony) if they exceed the specified “4 year difference” affirmative defense.

The term includes soliciting or harassing a student to perform a sex act. 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. For repeat offenders, the minimum 10 years and the maximum is life imprisonment.

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. 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.

For reprint permission, please contact RAINN's vice president for public policy, Rebecca O'Connor, at [email protected]

RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network) provides general information that is intended, but not guaranteed, to be correct and up-to-date.

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