Ages of consent in North America

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Age of consent laws in North America
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Age of consent laws in the Caribbean
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Main article: Age of consent

The ages of consent in North America for sexual activity vary by jurisdiction.

The age of consent in Canada is 16. All U.S. states set their limits between 16 and 18.

The age of consent in Mexico is complex. Typically, Mexican states have a "primary" age of consent (which may be as low as 12), and sexual conduct with persons below that age is always illegal. Sexual relations between adults and teenagers under 18 are left in a legal gray area: laws against adults "corrupting" minors may be used sometimes to punish such sexual encounters, as well as laws against engaging in sexual relations with "chaste and honest" teenage girls by means of "seduction". These laws are situational and are subject to interpretation.

The ages of consent in the countries of Central America range from 15 to 18.

The below is a list of all jurisdictions in North America as listed in List of sovereign states and dependent territories in North America.

Contents

Overview

The age of consent is the age at or above which a person is considered to have the legal capacity to consent to sexual activity. Both partners must be of legal age to give consent, although exceptions to the age of consent law exist in some jurisdictions when the minor and his/her partner are within a certain number of years in age or when a minor is married to his/her partner. Persons below the age of consent may not, by law, give consent, and sexual relations involving such persons may be punished by criminal sanctions similar to those for rape or sexual assault. Non-violent sexual contact with persons under the age of consent may be punished with varying degrees of severity, ranging from a misdemeanor with a simple fine, to a felony with a punishment as serious as rape.

In addition, many places have a higher age of consent if the older partner is in a position of authority over the young person such as being his or her teacher, manager, coach, parent or stepparent. For example in Indiana the age of consent is 16 but it is illegal for a person over 18 to have sex with anyone under 18 if they work at their school, are their parent or a stepparent, or are a person recruiting them to the military.

Historically, the age of consent applied to male-female relationships; homosexual relationships were often illegal in themselves regardless of the ages. Modern laws have explicitly recognized different relationships, but the circumstances may affect the legal status, and there may be multiple "ages" that apply in any jurisdiction. For instance, different ages may apply if the relationship is homosexual, or if the sexual contact is other than vaginal intercourse. Also, different ages may apply if one partner is in a position of power or authority over the other (e.g., a teacher-student relationship).

Antigua and Barbuda

In Antigua and Barbuda, the age of consent is 16. The Sexual Offences Act of 1995[1] raised the age of consent from 14 to 16 years of age.[2]

  • Sexual Intercourse with female between fourteen and sixteen

6. (1) Where a male person has sexual intercourse with a female person who is not his wife with her consent and who has attained the age of fourteen years but has not yet attained the age of sixteen years, he is guilty of an offence, and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for ten years.

(2) A male person is not guilty of an offence under subsection (1) –

(a) if he honestly believed that the female person was sixteen years of age or more; or

(b) if the male person is not more than three years older than the female person and the court is of the opinion that the evidence discloses that as between the male person and the female person, the male person is not wholly or substantially to blame.

  • Sexual intercourse with male under sixteen

7. (1) Where a female adult has sexual intercourse with a male person who is not her husband and who is under the age of sixteen years, she is guilty of an offence, whether or not the male person consented to the intercourse, and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for seven years.

A female adult is not guilty of an offence under subsection (1) –

(a) if she honestly believed that the male person was sixteen years of age or more; or

(b) if the female adult is not more than three years older than the male person and the court is of the opinion that evidence discloses that as between the female adult and the male person, the female adult is not wholly or substantially to blame.

Anguilla (United Kingdom)

The age of consent in Anguilla is 16. It is determined in Part 14 of the Criminal Code - SEXUAL OFFENCES -Sexual Offences Against Minors - by Article 143. "Sexual intercourse with person between 14 and 16 years of age".[3]

Aruba (Netherlands)

Bahamas

In the Bahamas, the age of consent for opposite-sex activity is 16 and the age of consent for same-sex activity is 18. Since 1991 homosexuality was legalized. However, "public homosexuality" is an offense that carries a 20 year jail term without parole. Art. 16

11. (1) Any person who has unlawful sexual intercourse with any person being of or above fourteen years of age and under sixteen years of age, whether with or without the consent of the person with whom he had unlawful sexual intercourse, is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for life subject to, on a first conviction for the offence, a term of imprisonment of seven years and, in the case of a second or subsequent conviction for the offence, a term of imprisonment of fourteen years.[4]

Further reading:

Barbados

In Barbados the age of consent is 16.

Section 5, part I ‘Sexual intercourse with person between 14 and 16’ of the Sexual Offences Act 1992

(1) Where a person has sexual intercourse with another with the other's consent and that other person has attained the age of 14 but has not yet attained the age of 16 that person is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term of 10 years.[5]

Belize

In Belize, the age of consent is 16 for all heterosexuals. Since 2003, male homosexuality has been re-criminalized (regardless of age)[6]

The legislation reads:

Criminal Code [CAP. 101][6]

  • Section 47.2

"Every person who (a) unlawfully and carnally knows any girl who is of or above the age of fourteen years but under the age of sixteen years (...) shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction thereof be imprisoned for a term which shall not be less than five years nor more than ten years."

  • Section 53. "Unnatural Crime"

“Every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.”

Bermuda (United Kingdom)

In Bermuda, the age of consent is 16 for heterosexual and female homosexual acts, while the age of consent for male homosexual acts is maintained at 18.

Male homosexual acts were decriminalized in Bermuda since 1994 where the above conditions were set[citation needed].

British Virgin Islands (United Kingdom)

Canada

The Tackling Violent Crime Act took effect on 1 May 2008, raising the age of consent from 14 to 16.[7]

There exist two close-in-age exemptions, depending on the age of the younger partner. A youth of twelve or thirteen can consent to sexual activity with an individual less than two years older than they. A fourteen- or fifteen-year-old can consent to sexual activity with a partner who is less than five years older than they.[8]

Criminal law (including the definition of the age of consent) is in the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government, so the age of consent is uniform throughout Canada. Section 151 of the Criminal Code of Canada makes it a crime to touch, for a sexual purpose, any person under the age of 16 years. Section 153 then goes on to prohibit the sexual touching of a person under 18 by a person in three circumstances: if he or she is in a "position of trust or authority" towards the youth, if the youth is in a "relationship of dependency" with him or her, or if the relationship is "exploitative". The term "position of trust or authority" is not defined in the Code but the courts have ruled that parents, teachers, and medical professionals hold a position of trust or authority towards youth they care for or teach. For determining whether or not a relationship is "exploitative", s. 153 (1.2) of the Code provides that a judge can consider how old the youth is, the difference in ages between the partners, how the relationship evolved, and the degree of control or influence that the older partner has over the youth.

The "position of trust under 18" anti-exploitation rules were expanded in 2005 by Bill C-2 where a judge may choose to term a situation to be sexual exploitation based on the age of the younger party, age difference, evolution of the relationship (how it developed, e.g. quickly and secretly over the Internet), the control or influence over the young person (degree of control or influence the other person had over the young person). This passed before the 2008 amendments, and they were not repealed so they are still in effect and can apply towards adults in these situations with young persons over the age of consent and under 18 (16-17).

Where an accused is charged with an offence under s. 151 (Sexual Interference), s. 152 (Invitation to sexual touching), s. 153(1) (Sexual exploitation), s. 160(3) (Bestiality in presence of or by child), or s. 173(2) (Indecent acts), or is charged with an offence under s. 271 (Sexual assault), s. 272 (Sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party, or causing bodily harm), or s. 273 (Aggravated sexual assault) in respect of a complainant under the age of fourteen years, it is not a defense that the complainant consented to the activity that forms the subject-matter of the charge.

Anal intercourse

Section 159 of the Criminal Code criminalizes every act of anal intercourse, but provides exceptions for a husband and wife, and any two persons 18 years of age or older. These exceptions do not apply if a third adult is present, or if the anal intercourse takes place anywhere but in private.[9] However, courts in Ontario,[10] Quebec,[11] and Alberta[12] have independently declared s. 159 to be unconstitutional as violations of the equality provision of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

History

During the 19th century, the age of consent for heterosexual vaginal sex was 12, in 1890, the Parliament raised the age of consent to 14.[13] The punishment for anyone who had sexual intercourse with someone younger than 14 was life imprisonment and whipping, while the punishment for anyone who attempted to seduce an underage girl was two years' imprisonment and whipping.[14] Canada had also laws against "seducing" minor girls who were over the age of consent. In 1886, a law was enacted that made the "seduction" of a girl over 12 and under 16 "of previously chaste character" a criminal offence; the "seduction" of a female under 18 "under promise of marriage" was also made illegal in 1886, and amended in 1887 to apply to females under 21.[15] After the raising of the age of consent to 14, the laws against "seducing" minor girls were amended to apply to those older than 14, and various laws of this kind have remained in force through the 20th century.[15] The age of consent was raised from 14 to 16 in the spring of 2008, when the Tackling Violent Crime Act became effective. The new measures still allow for close-in-age exceptions between 12 and 16: if there is no more than a two-year gap for those 12 and 13, or a five-year gap for those 14 and 15. Anal sex remains illegal with exceptions for those over 18, if they comply with the restrictions set out under section 159.

Female homosexuality was never illegal in the former British colonies; oral sex was legalized in 1969 with the same age of consent as vaginal sex. Also introduced in 1969 were the exceptions regarding criminal anal sex (effectively legalizing it), but with a higher age barrier set at 21 & older, under section 159; in 1988, the age barrier for these exceptions was lowered to 18 & older. As of 2008 there are no plans to repeal section 159, even though it has been ruled unconstitutional in some Canadian provinces.

Cayman Islands

The age of consent in Cayman Islands is 16.[16]

Defilement of girls under sixteen years of age, etc.

134. (1) Whoever unlawfully and carnally -

(a) knows any girl under the age of twelve years is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for twenty years; or

(b) knows any girl between the ages of twelve and sixteen years is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for twelve years.

Indecent assaults on females

132. (1) It is an offence for a person to make an indecent assault on a woman.

(2) A girl under the age of sixteen cannot in law give any consent which would prevent an act being an assault for the purposes of this section.

Caribbean Netherlands

Clipperton Island (France)

Clipperton Island is an uninhabited nine-square-kilometre (approx. 3.5-square-mile) coral atoll in the eastern Pacific Ocean, a state private property under the direct authority of the French government, administered by the Minister of Overseas France. The laws of France where applicable apply.[17] See Age of consent Europe#France.

Costa Rica

In Costa Rica under the Penal Code of 2004, the age of consent is 15, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender.

Relaciones sexuales con personas menores de edad

ARTÍCULO 159.- Quien, aprovechándose de la edad, se haga acceder otenga acceso carnal por vía oral, anal o vaginal, con una persona decualquier sexo, mayor de doce años y menor de quince, aun con su consentimiento, será sancionado con pena de prisión de dos a seis años. Igual pena se impondrá si la acción consiste en introducir, por vía vaginal o anal uno o varios dedos u objetos. (...)[18]

Sexual relations with minors

Translation: Article 159. Anyone who, taking advantage of age, attempts to obtain or obtains carnal access, by oral, anal or vaginal penetration, to a person of either sex who is over 12 and under 15 years of age, even with his or her consent, shall be punishable with two to six years' imprisonment. A similar penalty shall be imposed if the act involves the introduction of one or more fingers or objects into the vagina or anus. (...)[19]

Cuba

The age of consent in Cuba is 16.[20]

Dominica

In Dominica the age of consent is 16.

‘Defilement of girls between fourteen (14) and sixteen (16) years of age’, Article 4 of the " Sexual Offences Act "

" (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), any person who - a) unlawfully and carnally knows, or attempts to have unlawful carnal knowledge of any girl of or above the age of fourteen (14) years and under the age of sixteen (16) years (...) - is liable to imprisonment for seven years.[21]

Dominican Republic

The age of consent in the Dominican Republic is 18.[22]

El Salvador

In El Salvador, the age of consent appears to be 18 (although the laws are not clear cut in regard to sexual acts with persons aged between 15 and 18).

  • CHILDREN YOUNGER THAN 15:

VIOLACIÓN EN MENOR O INCAPAZ

Art. 159.- El que tuviere acceso carnal por vía vaginal o anal con menor de quince años de edad o con otra persona aprovechándose de su enajenación mental, de su estado de inconsciencia o de su incapacidad de resistir, será sancionado con prisión de catorce a veinte años.[23][24]

Approximate translation: "Anyone who has vaginal or anal knowledge of a minor younger than fifteen years of age or of another person by taking advantage of their insanity, their state of unconsciousness or inability to resist, shall be punished with imprisonment of fourteen to twenty years."

  • CHILDREN AGED BETWEEN 15 AND 18:

Several laws apply to sex with persons aged between 15 and 18.

Article 169 makes it illegal to "promote, facilitate, manage, finance, instigate or organize in any way the use of persons under eighteen years of age in sexual or erotic acts individually or organized, publicly or privately".

Art. 169.- El que promoviere, facilitare, administrare, financiare, instigare u organizare de cualquier forma la utilización de personas menores de dieciocho años en actos sexuales o eróticos, de manera individual u organizada, de forma pública o privada, será sancionado con pena de tres a ocho años de prisión.

En igual responsabilidad incurrirá quien con conocimiento de causa autorizare el uso o arrendare el inmueble para realizar cualquiera de las actividades descritas en el inciso anterior.[23]

Approximate translation: Article 169 .- Any person who promotes, facilitates, manages, finances, instigates or organizes in any way the use of persons under eighteen years of age in sexual or erotic acts, individually or organized, publicly or privately, shall be punished with penalty of three to eight years in prison.

Similarly, anyone who knowingly authorizes the use or rents a property to perform any of the activities described in the preceding paragraph, incurs criminal liability.

Article 167 makes it illegal to "promote or facilitate the corruption of a person under eighteen (...) through various sexual acts of carnal knowledge, even if the victim consents to participate in them".

CORRUPCIÓN DE MENORES E INCAPACES

Art. 167.- El que promoviere o facilitare la corrupción de una persona menor de dieciocho años de edad o de un deficiente mental, mediante actos sexuales diversos del acceso carnal, aunque la víctima consintiere participar en ellos, será sancionado con prisión de seis a doce años.[23]

Approximate translation: Article 167 .- Any person who promotes or facilitates the corruption of a person under eighteen years of age or a mentally handicapped through various sexual acts of carnal knowledge, even if the victim consents to participate in them, shall be punished with imprisonment of six to twelve years.

Article 171 deals with "obscene exhibition", and also appears to set the age of consent at 18.

EXHIBICIONES OBSCENAS

Art. 171.- El que ejecutare o hiciere ejecutar an otros actos lúbricos o de exhibición obscena, o indecorosa, en lugar público o expuesto al público o bien ante menores de dieciocho años de edad o deficientes mentales, será sancionado con prisión de dos a cuatro años.[23]

Approximate translation: Art. 171. Anyone who performs or makes others perform acts of lewd or lascivious exhibition, or indecency in a public place or a place open to the public or to minors under eighteen years of age or mentally handicapped, shall be punished with imprisonment from two to four years.

Articles 163 and 154 of the Penal Code (Código Penal) deal with estupro and make it illegal to use deception (engaño) or to take advantage of one's superiority (superioridad) that arises from a relationship in order to gain sexual access to teenagers aged between 15 and 18.

ESTUPRO

Art. 163.- El que tuviere acceso carnal por vía vaginal o anal mediante engaño, con persona mayor de quince años y menor de dieciocho años de edad, será sancionado con prisión de cuatro a diez años.[23]

Approximate translation: Art. 163. "Anyone who has vaginal or anal intercourse, by using deception, with a person over fifteen and under eighteen years of age, shall be punished with imprisonment of four to ten years".

ESTUPRO POR PREVALIMIENTO

Art. 164.- El que tuviere acceso carnal por vía vaginal o anal con persona mayor de quince y menor dieciocho años de edad, prevaliéndose de la superioridad originada por cualquier relación, será sancionado con prisión de seis a doce años.[23]

Approximate translation: Art. 164. "Anyone who has vaginal or anal intercourse with a person over fifteen and under eighteen years of age, relying on the superiority arising from any relationship, shall be punished with imprisonment from six to twelve years."

Greenland (Denmark)

The laws of Denmark, where applicable, apply.[25] See Ages of consent in Europe#Denmark.

Grenada

The age of consent in Grenada is 17. Penalties are up to 5 years of imprisonment if the victim is 14 to 16 years of age and up to 15 years imprisonment if the victim is under the age of 14.[26]

Guadeloupe (France)

For this section, see Ages of consent in Europe#France.

Guatemala

In Guatemala, the age of consent is 18, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender. The Law against Sexual Violence, Exploitation, and Trafficking in Persons was passed in February 2009, and provides sentences ranging from 13 to 24 years in prison, depending on the victim's age, for sex with a minor.[27]

Haiti

The age of consent in Haiti is 18.[28]

Honduras

In Honduras, the age of consent is considered to be 15 although this is not specifically stated in the law itself.[29]

Jamaica

In Jamaica the age of consent is 16.

‘Above twelve (12) and under sixteen (16)’, Article 50, " Offences Against the Person "

" Whosoever shall unlawfully and carnally know and abuse any girl being above the age of twelve (12) years and under the age of sixteen (16) years shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and being convicted thereof, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years;[30]

Martinique (France)

For this section, see Ages of consent in Europe#France.

Mexico

In Mexico, criminal legislation is shared between the federal and state governments. The federal law establishes the age of 12 as the minimum age of consent, while the age at which there are no restrictions for consensual sexual activities is 18 (sex with someone 12-18 is not illegal per se, but can still be open to prosecution under certain circumstances). Local state laws may override the federal law. In practice, the decision as to whether or not to prosecute is left to state authorities regardless of the younger person's age. At state level, the minimum ages of consent vary between 12 (and puberty in a few states) and 15, while the age at which there are no restrictions for consensual sexual activities vary from 16 to 18 (most common 18).

Federal Law

Article 261 of the Federal Criminal Code (PDF) states that: ”Whoever, without the purpose of reaching copulation, performs a sexual act in a person under 12 or in a person that has no capacity of understanding the meaning of the act or that for any reason cannot resist, or demands that the act is performed, will be punished with a term of 2 to 5 years in prison”. If the offender uses moral or physical violence, an extra half term is added to the initial time.

Article 266 refers to the previous article 265, which covers the rape of adults in general and establishes a term of 8 to 14 years in prison for sex obtained through physical or moral violence. Article 266 then states that: "It is equivalent to rape and will be punished with the same penalty: (1st Clause) – who without violence performs a copulation with a person under 12”. The 3rd Clause of this article punishes with the same penalties also “the vaginal or anal introduction of objects, without violence and with lascivious goals”, in a person under 12 or in a person that has no capacity of understanding the meaning of the fact, or for any reason cannot resist. If any of the aforementioned acts is performed with physical or moral violence, the sentence is raised in up to a half.

A further article, 266 Bis, determines an extra penalty of up to a half under certain circumstances – (a) when there are multiple offenders; (b) when the offense is committed by a parent, legal guardian, stepfather or “companion” (amasio) of the mother; (c) when there is an abuse of authority of someone as a civil servant; (d) when the crime is committed by a person who has the minor under his or her custody, guard or education, or yet through the abuse of trust.

There is another crime in Article 262 for consented sex with adolescents aged 12 to 18, when consent is obtained through deceit. The penalty is 3 months to 4 years in prison. This crime, however, is prosecuted only through a complaint of the minor or his/her parents or legal guardians, as determined in Article 263.

Artículo 262 del Código Penal: " Al que tenga cópula con persona mayor de doce años y menor de dieciocho, obteniendo su consentimiento por medio de engaño, se le aplicará de tres meses a cuatro años de prisión."[31]

Translation: Article 262: "Whoever fornicates with a person over twelve and under eighteen years of age, and has obtained their consent by means of deception, is subject to three months to four years in prison."

Article 201 prohibits the "corruption" of a minor under 16.[31]

Further reading:

Local laws

State Minimum age
of consent (sex with persons under this age is always illegal)
Age at which
there are no restrictions (sex with persons below this age is not illegal per se, but it is still open to prosecution)
"Violación
equiparada"
"Estupro"
Aguascalientes 12 16 125 122
Baja California 14 18 177 182
Baja California Sur 12 18 286 290
Campeche 12 18 234 230
Chiapas 12 18 157 bis 155
Chihuahua 14 18 172 177
Coahuila 12 16 386 394
Colima 14 18 209 211
Distrito Federal 12 18 181 bis 180
Durango 14 18 394 388
Guanajuato 12 16 181 185
Guerrero 12 18 140 145
Hidalgo 12 18 180 185
Jalisco 12 18 176 142-I
México 15 18 273 271
Michoacán 12 16 240 243
Morelos 12 18 154 159
Nayarit Puberty 18 260 258
Nuevo León 14 18 266 262
Oaxaca 12 18 247 243
Puebla 12 18 272 266
Querétaro 12 18 161 167
Quintana Roo 12 18 127 130
San Luis Potosí 12 16 152 149
Sinaloa 12 18 180 184
Sonora 12 18 219 215
Tabasco 12 17 150 153
Tamaulipas 12 18 275 270
Tlaxcala 14 221
Veracruz 14 16 182 185
Yucatán 13 16 315 311
Zacatecas 13 18 237 234

All Mexican states (as well as Mexico City) have corruption of minors statutes that can, upon complaint of the family (or minor), be used to punish sexual relations with persons under eighteen. It should be noted that while actual prosecutions for violations of Corruption of Minors statutes (and age of consent statutes in general) tend to be sporadic, regional, and very situation dependent, many Mexican states nonetheless classify Corruption of Minors as a "Delito Grave" (Grave Crime) in their penal codes.

Additionally, all the states have "Estupro" laws that can, upon complaint of the family (or minor female), be used to prosecute adults who engage in sexual intercourse with "chaste" and "honest" females under eighteen by means of "seduction" or deceit (such as the false promise of marriage).

In some Mexican jurisdictions prosecutors have chosen to prosecute consensual sexual activity involving adults and underage minors only upon complaint by the minor, or a custodial complaint.

Federal District

The age of consent in the Federal District (Mexico City) is 12, one of the lowest in the world, and the overall criminal legislation of Mexico’s capital is close to that of the federal law regarding this subject, although tougher in some aspects – higher penalties and broader definitions.

According to the Estatuto del Gobierno del Distrito Federal (PDF)(in Spanish) (Government Statute of the Federal District), Article 42, Clause XII, the District’s Legislative Assembly has powers to legislate in criminal law.

Article 175 of the Federal District Criminal Code refers to the previous Article 174, which stipulates a term of 6 to 17 years of prison for the rape of adults, while defining copulation as “the introduction of the penis in the human body through the vagina, anus or mouth”. Article 175 (violación) then states that: "It is equivalent to rape and will be punished with the same penalty: (1st Clause) – who performs a copulation with a person under 12 years of age or with a person that has no capacity of understanding the meaning of the act or that for any reason cannot resist”; The 2nd Clause defines as committing the same crime whoever “introduces in the vagina or anus any element, instrument or any part of the human body different from the penis”, in relation to these same persons.

Article 177 covers “sexual abuse” and punishes other acts referred as “unintentional” acts –“who without purpose of reaching copulation, performs a sexual act with a person under 12 or a person that has no capacity of understanding the meaning of the act or that for any reason cannot resist it, or that demands that such act is observed or performed, will be punished with 2 to 7 years in prison”.

In both Articles (175 and 177), there is an extra half term in case of physical or moral violence. And according to Article 178, there is also a punishment of an extra two thirds of the term under the same circumstances foreseen in Article 266 Bis of the Federal Law (see above), added by two new circumstances – (clause V) when the victim is inside a private vehicle or a public service vehicle; and (clause VI) when the crime is committed in a desert or isolated place.

There is a crime called estupro stipulated in Article 180, which refers to consented sex with adolescents aged 12 to 18, when consent is obtained through any means of deceit. The penalty is 6 months to 4 years of prison. This crime needs a complaint (querella) to be prosecuted.

There is a Corruption of Minors statute (Article 184) that can be used to punish by imprisonment, for seven to twelve years, adults who engage in sexual relations with persons under eighteen. This situation exists all over Mexico, and can be prosecuted upon complaint of victim or the victim's family.

Montserrat (United Kingdom)

The age of consent in Montserrat is 16.[32]

Unlawful sexual intercourse with girl under age of sixteen

121.(1) Subject to the provisions of the section, a man who has unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl above the age of thirteen and under the age of sixteen shall be guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for two years.

(2) It is immaterial in the case of a charge for an offence under this section that the intercourse was had with the consent of the girl concerned.

Indecent assault on a woman

122.(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, any man who makes an indecent assault on a woman shall be guilty of an offence and liable— (...)

(2) A girl under the age of sixteen years cannot in law give consent which would prevent an act being an assault for the purposes of this section.

Nicaragua

In Nicaragua, the age of consent is 18, although, in regard to victims 16-17, the law (Article 175) is not clear cut.

Article 170. Statutory rape[33]

Anyone who is married or in a stable de facto union or who is of age and who, without violence or intimidation, has or allows carnal access with a person aged between 14 and 16 shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of two to four years.

Article 175. Sexual exploitation, pornography and paid sexual acts with adolescents

Anyone who induces, provides, promotes or uses persons aged under 16 or a disabled person for sexual or erotic purposes, forcing them to witness or participate in an act or show in public or in private, even if the victim consents to witness or participate in such an act, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of five to seven years, or four to six years if the victim is aged between 16 and 18.

(...)

Article 168. Rape of children under the age of 14

Anyone who has or allows carnal access with a person aged under 14 or who, for sexual purposes, inserts or forces the victim to insert a finger, object or instrument, by way of the vagina, anus or mouth, with or without consent, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of 12 to 15 years.

Article 172. Sexual abuse

Anyone who engages in lewd acts with or improper touching of another person, without their consent, (...)

In no circumstances shall the victim be considered to have given consent if the victim is under the age of 14 or has a mental disability or illness.

Panama

In Panama, the age of consent appears to be 18.

  • Laws regarding persons aged between 14 and 18:

Article 215 appears to prohibit sexual acts with minors:

Article 215 C: “He who maltreats a minor shall be sanctioned with imprisonment from one to six years. The following conducts typify maltreatment of minors: (...) 2) Committing, inducing or helping to commit sexual abuse against him, or other lustful or lewd acts, even though they do not imply carnal access (...)

Article 226 deals with the "corruption" of minors and prohibits sexual acts with persons younger than 18 (although it is not clear if this article prohibits such sex acts per se or only if the victim was "corrupted"):

"Article 226: “He who corrupts or facilitates the corruption of a person under 18 years of age, practicing with her a lewd act or inducing her to practice or view it, shall be sanctioned with imprisonment of two to four years”.

Another article, Article 219, prohibits consensual sex acts with a "maiden woman, over 14 years old and under 18" (probably understood to mean a virgin girl aged 14–18):

Article 219: “He who has carnal access to a maiden woman, over 14 years old and under 18, with her consent, shall be sanctioned with prison of one to three years. If a marriage promise is involved, or if the deed is committed by a relative, a minister of a cult that the victim professes, a tutor, teacher or person in charge, by means of any title, of the education, safe keeping or upbringing of the victim, the penalty can be increased up to twice the amount”.

In regard to the Article 219, the action or penalty is to be extinguished if the author and the assaulted person are to be married, this is stipulated by Article 225.

  • Laws regarding persons younger than 14:

Article 216: “He who has sexual access with persons of either sex, utilizing his genital organs or other parts of his body, or introducing any object in the genitals, mouth or anus of the victim, shall be sanctioned with imprisonment from three to ten years in the following cases: 1) When violence or intimidation is used; 2) When the assaulted person is deprived of reason or of sense or when due to physical or mental sickness or for any other cause she cannot resist; 3) When the victim is arrested or imprisoned and entrusted to the guilty party to supervise her or take her from one place to another; and 4) With a person of either sex that is not 14 years old, even though none of the circumstances expressed previously apply.

Article 220: “He who with the purpose of achieving carnal access executes libidinous acts in prejudice of a person of either sex, by means of violence or intimidation, or when the victim is not 14 years old or cannot resist, shall be sanctioned with imprisonment of three to six years. The sanction can be increased by one third to half, if any one of the circumstances established in the second paragraph or Article 219 occur.”

Puerto Rico (United States)

The age of consent in Puerto Rico is 16.[34]

Article 142.- Sexual Assault.- Any person who performs sexual penetration, whether vaginal, anal, oral-genital, digital or instrumental under any of the following circumstances shall incur a second degree felony:

(a) When the victim has not attained the age of sixteen (16) years at the time of the commission of the crime

(...)

Article 144.- Lewd Acts.- Any person who without the intention to consummate the crime of sexual assault described in Article 142 submits another person to an act that tends to awaken, excite or satisfy the sexual passion or desire of the accused, under any of the following circumstances hereinbelow, shall incur a third degree felony.

(a) When the victim has not attained the age of sixteen (16) years at the time of the commission of the crime

(...)

Saint Kitts and Nevis

The age of consent in Saint Kitts and Nevis is 16.[35]

Saint Lucia

The age of consent in Saint Lucia is 16.[36]

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

The age of consent in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is 15.[37] The penalty for statutory rape of a girl over 13 but under 15 is five years' imprisonment; under 13 it is life imprisonment.[38]

Sint Maarten

The age of consent in Sint Maarten is 15, as specified by the Criminal Code of the Netherlands Antilles (which Sint Maarten didn't change after the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles), Articles 251, which reads:

Art 251: "A person who, out of wedlock, with a person who has reached the age of twelve but has not reached fifteen, performs indecent acts comprising or including sexual penetration of the body is liable to a term of imprisonment of not more than sixteen years".[39]

Prosecution only takes place upon a "complaint" by the minor, his parents, teacher, or the guardianship board.

Trinidad and Tobago

United States

The United States is a federation of states where the age of consent laws are made at the state level. There exist several federal statutes related to protecting minors from sexual predators, but none of them imposes an age limit on sexual acts. On 26 June 2003, both heterosexual and homosexual sodomy became legal in all U.S. states and territories under the U.S. Supreme Court decision Lawrence v. Texas[40] (between non-commercial, consenting adults in a private bedroom). In State v. Limon (2005), the Kansas Supreme Court used Lawrence as a precedent to overturn the state's "Romeo and Juliet" law, which proscribed lesser penalties for heterosexuals than homosexuals convicted of similar age of consent related offenses.[41]

History

While the age of consent is now set between 16 and 18 in all U.S. states, the age of consent has widely varied across the country in the past. In 1880, the age of consent was 10 in most states but ranged from 7 in Delaware to 12 across nine states and the District of Columbia.[42]

Federal laws

{Chapter 117, 18 U.S.C. 2422(b)} forbids the use of the United States Postal Service or other interstate or foreign means of communication, such as telephone calls or use of the internet, to persuade or entice a minor (defined as under 18 throughout chapter) to be involved in a criminal sexual act. The act has to be illegal under state or federal law to be charged with a crime under 2422(b), and can even be applied to situations where both parties reside within the same state but use an instant messenger program whose servers are located in another state.[43]

{Chapter 117, 18 U.S.C. 2423(a)} forbids transporting a minor (defined as under 18) in interstate or foreign commerce with the intent of engaging in criminal sexual acts in which a person can be charged. 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. The United States Department of Justice seems to agree with this interpretation.

{Chapter 117, 18 U.S.C. 2423(b)} forbids traveling in interstate or foreign commerce to engage in "illicit sexual conduct" with a minor. 2423(f) refers to Chapter 109A as its bright line for defining "illicit sexual conduct", as far as non-commercial sexual activity is concerned. For the purposes of age of consent, the only provision applicable is {Chapter 109A, 18 U.S.C. 2243(a)}. 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 (persons under 12 are handled under 18 U.S.C. 2241(c) under aggravated sexual abuse). So, the age is 12 years if one is within 4 years of the 12-to-15-year-old's age, 16 under all other circumstances. This most likely reflects Congressional intent to not unduly interfere with a state's age of consent law, which would have been the case if the age was set to 18 under all circumstances. This law is also extraterritorial in nature to U.S. Citizens and Residents who travel outside of the United States.

Although legislation tends to reflect general societal attitudes regarding male versus female ages of consent, Richard Posner notes in his Guide to America's Sex Laws;

"The U.S. Supreme Court has held that stricter rules for males do not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution, on the theory that men lack the disincentives (associated with pregnancy) that women have, to engage in sexual activity, and the law may thus provide men with those disincentives in the form of criminal sanctions."[44]

The Assimilative Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. § 13) incorporates local state criminal law when on federal reservations such as Bureau of Land Management property, military posts and shipyards, national parks, national forests, inter alia. Consequently, if an act is not punishable by under any federal law (such as 18 U.S.C. 2243(a) mentioned above) then the local state's age of consent laws would apply to the crime.

The Protect Act § 503 makes it a federal crime to possess or create sexually explicit images of any person under 18 years of age; this creates a federal age of consent of 18 for pornography.[45]

Rules applicable to U.S. servicemen and women and prisoners of war

Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (10 U.S.C. § 920), to which essentially only members of the United States Armed Services and enemy prisoners of war are subject, defines the age of consent as sixteen years in subsection but allows an exemption for people who are married to minors 12–15 years old. There is also a mistake in age defense if the minor is over 12, but not if the minor is under 12. The victim's age being under sixteen years is also an aggravating factor invoking harsher punishment under both Articles 120 and 125 (Sodomy, 10 U.S.C. § 925). 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.S.C. § 13). 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.

State laws

Each U.S. state (and the District of Columbia) has its own age of consent. Currently state laws set the age of consent at 16, 17, or 18. The most common age is 16.[46]

  • age of consent 16 (31): Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia
  • age of consent 17 (8): Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Texas, Wyoming
  • age of consent 18 (12): Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin[47]

These state laws are discussed in detail below.

Alabama

The age of consent in Alabama is 16.

Shown by articles of the Code of Alabama:

13A-6-70: (c) A person is deemed incapable of consent if he is: (1) Less than 16 years old...

13A-6-67 : (a) A person commits the crime of sexual abuse in the second degree if: ...
(2) He, being 19 years old or older, subjects another person to sexual contact who is less than 16 years old, but more than 12 years old.

13A-6-62 (a) A person commits the crime of rape in the second degree if: ...
(1) Being 16 years old or older, he or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex less than 16 and more than 12 years old; provided, however, the actor is at least two years older than the member of the opposite sex.

13A-6-64 : (a) A person commits the crime of sodomy in the second degree if: ...
(1) He, being 16 years old or older, engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another person less than 16 and more than 12 years old.

The State Legislature recently passed Act 2010-497 making it a crime for any school employee to have any sexual relations with a student under the age of 19. 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.

13A-6-81 : A person commits the crime of a school employee engaging in a sex act or deviant sexual intercourse with a student under the age of 19 years if:
(a) He or she is a school employee and engages in a sex act or deviant sexual intercourse with a student, regardless of whether the student is male or female. Consent is not a defense to a charge under this section.

(b) As used in this section, sex act means sexual intercourse with any penetration, however slight; emission is not required.

(c) As used in this section, deviant sexual intercourse means any act of sexual gratification between persons not married to each other involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another.

(d) The crime of a school employee engaging in a sex act or deviant sexual intercourse with a student is a Class B felony.

13A-6-82 : A person commits the crime of a school employee having sexual contact with a student under the age of 19 years if:
(a) He or she is a school employee and engaging in sexual contact with a student, regardless of whether the student is male or female. Consent is not a defense to a charge under this section.

(b) As used in this section, sexual contact means any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a student, done for the purpose of gratifying the sexual desire of either party. The term includes soliciting or harassing a student to perform a sex act.

(c) The crime of a school employee having sexual contact with a student is a Class A misdemeanor.

Alaska

The age of consent is 16, provided the older partner is not in a position of authority.

Alaska Statutes - Title 11. Criminal Law - Chapter 41. Offenses Against the Person - Sexual Abuse of a Minor
Section 436 in the First Degree (Unclassified Felony) ; Section 436 in the Second Degree (Class B Felony) ;
Section 438 in the Third Degree (Class C Felony) ; Section 440 : in the Fourth Degree (Class A misdemeanor)

AS 11.41.436. Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the Second Degree.

(a) An offender commits the crime of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree if (1) being 16 years of age or older, the offender engages in sexual penetration with a person who is 13, 14, or 15 years of age and at least three years younger than the offender, or aids, induces, causes or encourages a person who is 13, 14, or 15 years of age and at least three years younger than the offender to engage in sexual penetration with another person...

Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the .... :

  • Younger minor under 13 + Elder minor under 16 (more than 3 years between them) :
    • Sexual contact = 4th Degree & Sexual penetration = 3rd Degree
  • Younger minor under 13 + Elder minor above 16 :
    • pornography = 2nd Degree (younger under 16 vs. elder above 16 )
    • Sexual contact = 2nd Degree (for elder minor oneself or if (s)he helps another person)
    • Sexual penetration = 1st Degree (for elder minor oneself or if (s)he helps another person)
  • Younger minor aged 13, 14 or 15 + Elder minor above 16 (more than 3 years between them) :
    • Sexual contact = 3rd Degree
    • Sexual penetration = 2nd Degree (for elder minor oneself or if (s)he helps another person)
    • pornography = 2nd Degree (younger under 16 vs. elder above 16 )
  • Minor under 16 + partner above 18 (civil majority) if cohabitant with authority or position of authority :
    • Sexual contact = 2nd Degree & Sexual penetration = 1st Degree.
  • Minor under 18 + parent or guardian above 18 :
    • Sexual contact = 2nd Degree & Sexual penetration = 1st Degree

Indecent Exposure:

    • with masturbation, in front of minor under 16 = Indecent Exposure in the 1st Degree (Class C Felony)
    • simply, in front of minor under 16 = Indecent Exposure in the 2nd Degree (Class A misdemeanor)
    • simply, in front of above 16 = Indecent Exposure in the 2nd Degree (Class B misdemeanor).

Arizona

The age of consent in Arizona is 18. 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". Note: these are not close-in-age exceptions but defenses in court. Arizona Revised Statute 13-1405(A)

13-1407 (Defenses)

  • B. It is a defense to a prosecution pursuant to sections 13-1404 and 13-1405 in which the victim's lack of consent is based on incapacity to consent because the victim was fifteen, sixteen or seventeen years of age if at the time the defendant engaged in the conduct constituting the offence the defendant did not know and could not reasonably have known the age of the victim.
  • D. It is a defense to a prosecution pursuant to section 13-1404 or 13-1405 that the person was the spouse (legally married AND cohabiting) of the other person at the time of commission of the act...
  • F. It is a defense to a prosecution pursuant to section 13-1405 if the victim is fifteen, sixteen or seventeen years of age, the defendant is under nineteen years of age or attending high school and is no more than twenty-four months older than the victim and the conduct is consensual.

Arkansas

The age of consent is 16, with some close-in-age exemptions.

Details: The age is minimum 16 for a minor (<18) with a major 20 years old or older. 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 above 12, not more 3 years younger if under 12. Sexual intercourse of a major and a minor under 14 is a rape.

Arkansas Code - Title 5. Criminal Offenses - Chapter 14. Sexual Offenses. Sections 5-14-

103, 124, 125, 126, 127

5-14-127. A person commits sexual assault in the fourth degree if the person: (a)

  • (1) Being twenty (20) years of age or older, engages in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual activity with another person who is:
    • (A) Less than sixteen (16) years of age; and (B) Not the person's spouse; or
  • (2) Engages in sexual contact with another person who is:
    • (A) Less than sixteen (16) years of age; and (B) Not the person's spouse.

(b)

  • (1) Sexual assault in the fourth degree under subdivision (a)(1) of this section is a Class D felony.
  • (2) Sexual assault in the fourth degree under subdivision (a)(2) of this section is a Class A misdemeanor if the person engages only in sexual contact with another person as described in subdivision (a)(2) of this section.

California

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. (CA Penal Code § 265.1 (a))

The punishment is varied, depending on the ages of the perpetrator and the victim:

  • Any person who commits the crime with a minor not more than 3 years younger or older than the perpetrator is guilty of a misdemeanor. (CA Penal Code § 265.1 (b))
  • Any person who commits the crime with a minor who is more than 3 years younger than the perpetrator is guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor conviction is punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year. A felony conviction is punished by imprisonment in a county jail for 16 months, or two or three years, or in the state prison, depending on the person's criminal history. (CA Penal Code § 265.1 (c))
  • Any person 21 years of age or older who commits the crime with a minor under 16 years of age is guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor conviction is punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year. A felony conviction is punished by imprisonment in a county jail for two, three or four years, or in the state prison, depending on the person's criminal history. (CA Penal Code § 265.1 (d))

There are also civil sanctions possible for a violation stated above. (CA Penal Code § 265.1 (e))

Furthermore, any person who engages in sex acts with a person under the age of 14 and seven or more years younger than the perpetrator is guilty of aggravated sexual assault of a child. This crime is a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of 15 years to life. Separate offenses, even with the same person are punished with consecutive sentences. (CA Penal Code § 269)

There are separate crimes for committing sodomy with minors. (CA Penal code § 286)

There are separate crimes for committing any lewd or lascivious act with a person under the age of 14. (CA Penal Code § 288)

Colorado

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. However, a 17-year-old can not legally consent to a person that is in position of trust.

18-3-402(1) Any actor who knowingly inflicts sexual intrusion or sexual penetration on a victim commits sexual assault if: (d) At the time of the commission of the act, the victim is less than fifteen years of age and the actor is at least four years older than the victim and is not the spouse of the victim; or (e) At the time of the commission of the act, the victim is at least fifteen years of age but less than seventeen years of age and the actor is at least ten years older than the victim and is not the spouse of the victim;

Connecticut

The general age of consent in Connecticut is 16. This applies in most relationships.

However, if any of the following apply, then the age of consent becomes 18:

  • Where one person is a guardian, or responsible for the general supervision, of the other. See C.G.S. § 53a-71(a)(4).
  • Where one person is an athletic coach or an intensive instructor (e.g. piano teacher) outside of a school setting, and the other is being coached or instructed. See C.G.S. § 53a-71(9)(B).
  • Where one person's professional, legal, occupational or volunteer status gives him/her a role of supervision, power, or authority, over the other's participation in a program or activity, and the older person is at least 20-years-old. See C.G.S. § 53a-71(a)(4).

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. For example:

  • A 13-year-old can consent to any 15-year-old.
  • A 15-year-old can consent to any 17-year-old.
  • A 15-year-old born on 1 January can consent to an 18-year-old born on 1 February. This is just under a 3-year age difference.
  • A 15-year-old born on 1 February cannot consent to an 18-year-old born on 1 January. This is just over, and illegal.

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. See C.G.S. § 46b-120(7)(E). 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.G.S. § 53a-71(a)(1). 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. See C.G.S. § 46b-127(a). 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. See C.G.S. § 54-76b to o.

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. For example:

  • A 12-year-old can consent to any 13-year-old.
  • A 12-year-old cannot consent to any 14-year-old.

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.G.S. § 53a-70(a)(2). 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. 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, 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.G.S. § 46b-120(12)(A). Because the charge is a sex offense, the juvenile prosecutor can request that the proceeding designated a "serious sexual offender prosecution". See C.G.S. § 46b-133d(b)-(f). 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.

Links to Statutes Cited (in numerical order)

Delaware

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.

Title 11 § 761. 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. Children who have not yet reached their twelfth birthday are deemed unable to consent to a sexual act under any circumstances. Crimes and Criminal Procedure, Delaware Criminal Code

§ 770. Rape in the fourth degree; class C felony. (a) A person is guilty of rape in the fourth degree when the person:...2) Intentionally engages in sexual intercourse with another person, and the victim has not yet reached that victim's eighteenth birthday, and the person is 30 years of age or older, except that such intercourse shall not be unlawful if the victim and person are married at the time of such intercourse.

District of Columbia

The age of consent in the District of Columbia is 16 with a close-in-age exemption for those within four years of age.[48]

Florida

The age of consent in Florida is 18, but close-in-age exemptions exist. The law is complicated, but it appears that it is illegal to have sex with anyone under 12; legal for a person under 18 to have consensual sex with someone 12 or older (Section 794.11), and it is legal for a person 18-23 to have consensual sex with someone 16 or older (794.05). Persons 24 or older, or who are over 18 and have a position of authority over the other person are only permitted to have sex with them if they are at least 18.

794.05 Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors.-- (1) A person 24 years of age or older who engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years of age commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. 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 794

Georgia

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.[49] This law specifies that a defendant cannot be convicted on the testimony of the victim alone; some other evidence must be present. 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.[50] 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 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.[51] It carries a minimum sentence of 5 years and a max of 20 years in prison for a first-time offender, as well as mandatory counseling and sex offender sentencing guidelines. 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).[52] This crime carries a sentence of 25 years to life, and lifetime probation thereafter. 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 2006 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 17 year old boy was sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a 15 year old girl.

In June 2005, a bill was proposed before the General Assembly of Georgia (USA) to raise the age of consent from 16 to 18.[53][54] It is still being analyzed by local politicians.[55]

Hawaii

The age of consent in Hawaii is 16. 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.[4]

Idaho

The age of consent in Idaho is 18.

  • If the victim is under the age of 16 and female, and the actor is male and age 18 or older, or if the female is age 16 or 17 and the male actor is at least 3 years older, any penetrative act (including intercourse, anal sex and oral sex) is considered Rape.[56] Rape carries a minimum sentence of 1 year in prison, and a maximum of life.[57]
  • If the victim is under the age of 16, any lewd or lascivious act (including any form of genital contact) done by an actor "with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of such person, such minor child, or third party" is Lewd Conduct With Minor Child Under Sixteen. This law does not discriminate by the gender of the victim nor actor, and notably provides no exceptions based on the parties being close-in-age.[58]
  • If the victim is age 16 or 17 and the actor is at least 5 years older, any lewd or lascivious act (including any form of genital contact) or any other form of sexual contact done by an actor "with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of such person, such minor child, or third party" is Sexual Battery Of A Minor Child Sixteen Or Seventeen Years Of Age. Like Lewd Conduct above, this law does not discriminate by gender.[59]
  • If the victim is under the age of 16, and the actor is age 18 or older, any sexual contact not amounting to the aforementioned Lewd Conduct is classified as Sexual Abuse Of A Child Under The Age Of Sixteen Years.[60]

Illinois

The age of consent in Illinois is 17. However, it is illegal for a person 18 or older to commit sexual acts on a person under the age of 18 if he/she has a position of authority or trust over the victim.

(720 ILCS 5/12-15) Sec. 12-15. Criminal sexual abuse. ...(c) The accused commits criminal sexual abuse if he or she commits an act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct with a victim who was at least 13 years of age but under 17 years of age and the accused was less than 5 years older than the victim.

Sec. 12-16. Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse. ...(d) The accused commits aggravated criminal sexual abuse if he or she commits an act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct with a victim who was at least 13 years of age but under 17 years of age and the accused was at least 5 years older than the victim.

Indiana

The age of consent in Indiana is 16.[61] A close-in-age exception allows minors 14–15 years of age to legally consent to sex with a partner who is less than 18 years old.

IC 35-42-4-9 states: "Sexual misconduct with a minor Sec. 9. (a) A person at least eighteen (18) years of age who, with a child at least fourteen (14) years of age but less than sixteen (16) years of age, performs or submits to sexual intercourse or deviate sexual conduct commits sexual misconduct with a minor, a Class C felony."[62] Under certain aggravating circumstances, the offense increases to a Class B felony or to a Class A felony. 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. The law also allows a defense if the actor is within 4 years of age of the younger person and the two were in an ongoing dating/romantic relationship. This is not a close-in-age exception though, but merely a defense in court. The law also allows a mistake of age defense if the actor reasonably believed the victim was 16 or older.

The age limit rises to 18, according to IC35-42-4-7, if the actor is an adult who is the guardian, adoptive parent, adoptive grandparent, custodian, or stepparent of the minor; or a child care worker for the minor; or a military recruiter who is attempting to enlist over the minor.[62]

Any person who engages in sexual intercourse with a child under 14 years of age commits a Class B felony, under IC 35-42-4-3 Child molesting. Under certain aggravating circumstances, the crime becomes a Class A felony.[62]

Iowa

The age of consent in Iowa is 16, with a close-in-age exemption for those aged 14 and 15, who may engage in sexual acts with partners less than 4 years older.

Section 709.4 states: A person commits sexual abuse in the third degree when the person performs a sex act under any of the following circumstances... 2(c) The other person is fourteen or fifteen years of age and any of the following are true...(4) The person is four or more years older than the other person.

Section 709.15 forbids, amongst other things, sexual contact between a school employee and a "...person who is currently enrolled in or attending a public or nonpublic elementary or secondary school, or who was a student enrolled in or who attended a public or nonpublic elementary or secondary school within thirty days of any violation..." There exist similar laws for those who provide or purport to provide mental health services {§709.15}, officers in charge of offenders and juveniles {§709.16}.

Kansas

The age of consent in Kansas is 16. K.S.A. 21-5503, 21-5504, 21-5506 and 21-5507 prohibit sexual activity with minors aged 14 and 15. K.S.A. 21-5507 allows for a lesser penalty if the minor is between 14 or 15 and the offender is under 19 years old. 21-5506 covers indecent liberties with a child and aggravated indecent liberties with a child. Aggravated indecent liberties with a child is sexual intercourse with a child who is 14 or more years of age but less than 16 years of age.[63]

Kentucky

The age of consent in Kentucky is 16. Kentucky Revised Statutes Section 510.020 deems a person unable to consent if he or she is less than 16 years old.

In addition to the basic law regarding consent, the KRS has additional consent laws covering a variety of other situations:

  • Under KRS 510.110(1)(d), it is "sexual abuse in the first degree" for "a person in a position of authority or position of special trust" (as defined in KRS 532.045, including but not limited to parents, stepparents, foster parents, teachers, coaches, corrections personnel, religious leaders, and employers) to:
    • engage in sexual conduct with a person under 18, if the minor came into contact with the adult as a result of the adult's special position,
    • masturbate in the presence of said person under 18, or
    • masturbate while communicating by telephone, Internet, or other electronic means with any person known by the adult to be under 16 (regardless of whether the actor's position brought him or her into contact with the minor), and the minor can see or hear the adult masturbate.
  • Under KRS 510.110(1)(c), the actions stated above (without the qualification of "position of authority... or special trust") are also "sexual abuse in the first degree" when performed by anyone 21 or older if the other person is under 16.
Sexual abuse in the first degree is a Class D felony if the victim is 12 to 17 years old, and a Class C felony if the victim is under 12.
  • Under KRS 510.120, it is "sexual abuse in the second degree," a Class A misdemeanor, for:
    • a person at least 18 but under 21 to subject a person under age 16 to sexual conduct (510.120(1)(b)), or
    • personnel of correctional, juvenile justice, and detention facilities to engage in sexual conduct with adults (at least 18) who are under the supervision of an included facility (510.120(1)(c)).

However, KRS 510.120(2) provides a defense to prosecutions under 510.120(1)(b) (where the actor is between ages 18 and 21) for sexual abuse in the second degree if the "victim" is at least 14 and the actor is less than 5 years older. Similarly, it is a defense to the Class B misdemeanor of "sexual abuse in the third degree" (KRS 510.130), defined as subjecting another person to non-consensual sex, if the lack of consent was due solely to incapacity by age, the "victim" is 14 or 15 years old, and the actor is under 18.

Louisiana

The age of consent in Louisiana is 17.

§80. Felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile

A. Felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile is committed when: (1) A person who is seventeen years of age or older has sexual intercourse, with consent, with a person who is thirteen years of age or older but less than seventeen years of age, when the victim is not the spouse of the offender and when the difference between the age of the victim and the age of the offender is four years or greater; or...[64]

Maine

The age of consent in Maine is 16. Teenagers aged 14 and 15 May engage in sexual intercourse with partners who are less than 5 years older.

§254. Sexual abuse of minors 1. A person is guilty of sexual abuse of a minor if: A. The person engages in a sexual act with another person, not the actor's spouse, who is either 14 or 15 years of age and the actor is at least 5 years older than the other person.

Maryland

The age of consent in Maryland is 16.(see Note #1)

  • If a victim is 14 or 15 and the offender at least 4 years older than the victim, that constitutes a sexual offense in the fourth degree.[65] If the offender is at least 21 years old, and they engage in vaginal intercourse or other sexual acts (including oral and anal sex), that constitutes a sexual offense in the third degree.[66]
  • If a victim is under 14 and the offender at least 4 years older, and they engage in a sex act (oral, anal and other sex acts, but not vaginal intercourse), that constitutes a sexual offense in the second degree.[67] If they engage in vaginal intercourse, that constitutes rape in the second degree.[68](see Note #3) If they have sexual contact (kissing, touching for sexual gratification), that constitutes a sexual offense in the third degree.[66]

Notes:

  1. An exception to the age of consent is that if a person in a "position of authority" (full-time, permanent employee) engages in any sexual contact with any minor under age 18 or victim specified above, that constitutes a sexual offense in the fourth degree.[65]
  2. An additional violation is the crime of "sexual solicitation of minor." §3-324.[69] Under this statute, it is illegal to solicit any minor under 18 (or a law enforcement officer posing as a minor) by any means (in person, by agent, online, telephone, mail, writing etc.) to commit a rape or sexual offense in the second degree,[67][68] sexual offense in the third degree,[66] or prostitution.
  3. In Maryland, sexual offense (1st & 2nd degree) and rape (1st & 2nd degree) carry the same penalty. The distinction is that a rape involves vaginal intercourse.

Massachusetts

The age of consent in Massachusetts is 16.

Section 23 of Chapter 265 of the General Laws of Massachusetts states:

"Whoever unlawfully has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse, and abuses a child under sixteen years of age shall... be punished..." MGL 265-23

Section 35A of Chapter 272 states:[70]

"Whoever commits any unnatural and lascivious act with a child under the age of sixteen shall be punished..."

However, Chapter 272, Section 4 sets another age of consent at 18 when the "victim" is "of chaste life" and the perpetrator induces them.

"Whoever induces any person under 18 years of age of chaste life to have unlawful sexual intercourse shall be punished." MGL 272-4

Michigan

The age of consent in Michigan is 16 and there is no close-in-age exception, unless one is an authority figure in which case the age of consent is 18.

750.520d Criminal sexual conduct in the third degree; felony. Sec. 520d. (1) A person is guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree if the person engages in sexual penetration with another person and if any of the following circumstances exist: (a) That other person is at least 13 years of age and under 16 years of age...

In March 2012 the Michigan Senate passed a bill which was to prohibit sexual relations between students of any age and teachers.[71] It passed 36-2.[72]

Minnesota

The age of consent in Minnesota is 16.

If the actor is in a position of authority, the age of consent is 18. If the younger party is under the age of 13, the older party must be no more than 36 months older. If the younger party is 13, 14 or 15, the other person must be no more than 48 months older. The specifics of these laws are covered under Sections 609.34x of the Minnesota Criminal Code. Specifically sections 609.341 Definitions, 609.342 Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree, 609.343 Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree, 609.344 Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Third Degree, 609.345 Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fourth Degree, 609.3451 Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fifth Degree, and 609.349 Voluntary Relationships.[73]

Mississippi

The age of consent in Mississippi is 16.[74]

§ 97-3-65. Statutory rape; enhanced penalty for forcible sexual intercourse or statutory rape by administering certain substances.

(1)The crime of statutory rape is committed when:

(a) Any person seventeen (17) years of age or older has sexual intercourse with a child who:

(i) Is at least fourteen (14) but under sixteen (16) years of age;

(ii) Is thirty-six (36) or more months younger than the person; and

(iii) Is not the person's spouse

§ 97-3-95. Sexual battery.

(1) A person is guilty of sexual battery if he or she engages in sexual penetration with:...(c) A child at least fourteen (14) but under sixteen (16) years of age, if the person is thirty-six (36) or more months older than the child...

Missouri

The age of consent in Missouri is 17.

Mistake as to the age of the victim may be a defense in some circumstances as defined in RSMo 566.020.

Statutory rape and sodomy, RSMo §§ 566.032 and 566.062 involve a victim less than 14 years of age. Statutory rape and sodomy in the second degree, RSMo §§ 566.034 and 566.064 involve a victim less than 17 years of age and an accused who is 21 years of age or older. The crime of Child molestation in the second degree, RSMo § 566.068, occurs when a victim less than 17 years of age is subject to "sexual contact".

The distinction among those crimes has led some to the false conclusion that Missouri has a close-in-age exception. Missouri has no such exception beyond the degree of crime committed.

While the statutory titles are cast in terms of Rape and Sodomy, the statutes prohibit conduct that is described as "sexual intercourse" and "deviant sexual intercourse". Those terms are defined in RSMo § 566.010.


Statutory rape, second degree, penalty. − 566.034. 1. A person commits the crime of statutory rape in the second degree if being twenty-one years of age or older, he has sexual intercourse with another person who is less than seventeen years of age.

Statutory sodomy, second degree, penalty. 566.064. 1. A person commits the crime of statutory sodomy in the second degree if being twenty-one years of age or older, he has deviate sexual intercourse with another person who is less than seventeen years of age.

Child molestation, second degree, penalties. 566.068. 1. A person commits the crime of child molestation in the second degree if he or she subjects another person who is less than seventeen years of age to sexual contact.

Montana

The age of consent in Montana is 16.[75]

Nebraska

The age of consent in Nebraska is 16. [76][77]

28-319. Sexual assault; first degree; penalty. [76]

(1) Any person who subjects another person to sexual penetration

(a) without the consent of the victim,
(b) who knew or should have known that the victim was mentally or physically incapable of resisting or appraising the nature of his or her conduct, or
(c) when the actor is nineteen years of age or older and the victim is at least twelve but less than sixteen years of age is guilty of sexual assault in the first degree.

(2) Sexual assault in the first degree is a Class II felony. The sentencing judge shall consider whether the actor caused serious personal injury to the victim in reaching a decision on the sentence.

(3) Any person who is found guilty of sexual assault in the first degree for a second time when the first conviction was pursuant to this section or any other state or federal law with essentially the same elements as this section shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of twenty-five years in prison.

28-319.01. Sexual assault of a child; first degree; penalty.[77]

(1) A person commits sexual assault of a child in the first degree:

(a) When he or she subjects another person under twelve years of age to sexual penetration and the actor is at least nineteen years of age or older; or
(b) When he or she subjects another person who is at least twelve years of age but less than sixteen years of age to sexual penetration and the actor is twenty-five years of age or older.

(2) Sexual assault of a child in the first degree is a Class IB felony with a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years in prison for the first offense.

(3) Any person who is found guilty of sexual assault of a child in the first degree under this section and who has previously been convicted

(a) under this section,
(b) under section 28-319 of first degree or attempted first degree sexual assault,
(c) under section 28-320.01 before July 14, 2006, of sexual assault of a child or attempted sexual assault of a child,
(d) under section 28-320.01 on or after July 14, 2006, of sexual assault of a child in the second or third degree or attempted sexual assault of a child in the second or third degree, or
(e) in any other state or federal court under laws with essentially the same elements as this section, section 28-319, or section 28-320.01 as it existed before, on, or after July 14, 2006, shall be guilty of a Class IB felony with a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty-five years in prison.

(4) In any prosecution under this section, the age of the actor shall be an essential element of the offense that must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

Nevada

The age of consent in Nevada is 16.

NRS 200.364 Definitions. As used in NRS 200.364 to 200.3774, inclusive, unless the context otherwise requires: ... 3.“Statutory sexual seduction” means: (a) Ordinary sexual intercourse, anal intercourse, cunnilingus or fellatio committed by a person 18 years of age or older with a person under the age of 16 years; or (b) Any other sexual penetration committed by a person 18 years of age or older with a person under the age of 16 years with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of either of the persons.

New Hampshire

The age of consent in New Hampshire is 16. But a close-in-age exception exists where a person may "engage in sexual penetration" with a person older than 13 but younger than 16 but only if their age difference is three years or less. However, if the partner is acting "in loco parentis", e.g. as a teacher or a guardian, the minimum age is 18. NH Criminal code Section 632-A:3 and Section 632-A:2

New Jersey

The age of consent in New Jersey is 16.

There is an exception. If the victim is less than 18 and the partner is a parent, guardian, sibling or any other person closer than a fourth cousin or has any type of authority over the victim (for example, a teacher) then the assailant may be charged with a crime. For instance, it's criminal for a manager of any age to have sex with a 17 year-old subordinate, even if the sex was consensual.

State law specifies (by not saying anything) that minors between 13 and 15 years old may, in general, engage in a consensual sexual relationship with someone up to four years older. Therefore, for example, it is legal for a 14-year-old male or female to engage in consensual sex with a person up to 18 years of age.

Specifically, NJ state law details three circumstances of sexual assault under which the age of consent is pertinent.

For aggravated sexual assault (a crime of the first degree), a person must have committed sexual penetration (that is, intercouse, oral or anal sex or something inserted) while either (1) the victim was under 13 or (2) the assailant exercised some legal or occupational authority over the victim who was between 13 and 15. (All other conditions for aggravated sexual assault do not impact the NJ age of consent.)

Simple sexual assault (a crime of the second degree) is defined in two ways.

First, a person must have committed sexual contact (that is, intentional touching of intimate parts for sexual gratification) while the victim was under 13 and the assailant was over four years older. Or, second, a person must have committed sexual penetration (defined above under aggravated sexual assault) while not using force and either (1) the victim was 16 or 17 and one of the following conditions was true:

(a) the assailant was a third cousin or closer OR
(b) the assailant exercised some authority over the victim OR
(c) the assailant was a legal guardian in the household of the victim

or (2) the victim was between 13 and 15 and the assailant was over four years older. (All other conditions for simple sexual assault do not impact the NJ age of consent.)

For more information, see the actual NJ statutes at N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2.

New Mexico

The age of consent in New Mexico is 17 with age-gap, marital, and school employee provisions.[citation needed]

New Mexico Code > Chapter 30 > Article 9 > Section 30-9-11: Criminal sexual penetration.

"F. Criminal sexual penetration in the fourth degree consists of all criminal sexual penetration:

(1) not defined in Subsections C through E of this section perpetrated on a child thirteen to sixteen years of age when the perpetrator is at least eighteen years of age and is at least four years older than the child and not the spouse of that child; or:

(2) perpetrated on a child thirteen to eighteen years of age when the perpetrator, who is a licensed school employee, an unlicensed school employee, a school contract employee, a school health service provider or a school volunteer, and who is at least eighteen years of age and is at least four years older than the child and not the spouse of that child, learns while performing services in or for a school that the child is a student in a school.

Whoever commits criminal sexual penetration in the fourth degree is guilty of a fourth degree felony."[78]

New York

The age of consent in New York is 17.

The offense will be more serious depending on relative ages, thus:

  • Sex with a person under 17 is a misdemeanor if the perpetrator is at least 16 (see infra). (“Sexual misconduct,” NY Penal Law § 130.20.)
  • Sex with a person under 17 is a Class “E” felony if the perpetrator is at least 21. (“Rape in the third degree,” NY Penal Law § 130.25; “Criminal sexual act in the third degree,” NY Penal Law § 130.40.)
  • Sex with a person under 15 is a Class “D” violent felony if the perpetrator is at least 18. However, it is a defense to this charge if an 18 year-old perpetrator proves by a preponderance that he or she was less than four years older than the victim. This is not a defense to any other charge that might apply, i.e., Sexual misconduct, supra. (“Rape in the second degree,” NY Penal Law § 130.30; “Criminal sexual act in the second degree,” NY Penal Law § 130.45.)
  • Sex with a person under 13 is a Class “B” violent felony if the perpetrator is at least 18. (“Rape in the first degree,” NY Penal Law § 130.35[4]; “Criminal sexual act in the first degree,” NY Penal Law § 130.50[4].)
  • Sex with a person under 11 is a Class “B” violent felony if the perpetrator is at least 16. (“Rape in the first degree,” NY Penal Law § 130.35[3]; “Criminal sexual act in the first degree,” NY Penal Law § 130.50[3].)

"Sex," as used above, refers to the four conspicuous types of sexual acts, including "sexual intercourse", "oral sexual conduct" (both types), and "anal sexual conduct." The latter three acts were known by statute as "deviant sexual intercourse" prior to 2003.

Non-intercourse sexual activity is also regulated based on age. Non-intercourse sexual activity, called "sexual contact" is defined as "any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person not married to the actor for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire of either party. It includes the touching of the actor by the victim, as well as the touching of the victim by the actor, whether directly or through clothing." (NY Penal Law § 130.00[3].) If the person is underage such "sexual contact" can constitute the crime of "sexual abuse."

  • "Sexual contact" with a person less than 17 but at least 14, by a perpetrator who is at least five years older than the victim is "Sexual abuse in the third degree," a class B misdemeanor. (NY Penal Law § 130.55.)
  • "Sexual contact" with a person less than 14 is "Sexual abuse in the second degree," a Class A misdemeanor, if the perpetrator is at least 16. (NY Penal Law § 130.60[2].)
  • "Sexual contact" with a person less than 11 is "Sexual abuse in the first degree," a class "D" violent felony, if the perpetrator is at least 16. (NY Penal Law § 130.65[3].)
Certain defenses

It is not a defense that the perpetrator believed the victim was older than is later proven. (NY Penal Law § 15.20[3]).

Legally recognized marriage is a defense. (NY Penal Law § 130.10[4].)

The only minimum age for a perpetrator of first degree rape/criminal sexual act with a victim under 11 (NY Penal Law §§ 130.35[3] & 130.35[3]), sexual abuse in the first and second degrees (NY Penal Law §§ 130.65[3] & 130.60[2]), and misdemeanor Sexual misconduct (NY Penal Law § 130.20) is provided by the defense of infancy found at NY Penal Law § 30.00(1). That age is 16 years old. Someone under that age may be adjudicated a juvenile delinquent, but may not commit these crimes. On the other hand, someone who is 16 years old commits a crime by voluntarily having sex with anyone who cannot themselves legally consent to sex, including another 16-year-old, even if this "victim" is actually older. (People v. Bowman, 88 Misc. 2d 50; 387 N.Y.S.2d 982 [City Crim. Ct. 1976]; Matter of Jessie C., 164 A.D.2d 731; 565 N.Y.S.2d 941 [4 Dept., 1991].) In effect, mutual crimes are committed when two unmarried 16-year-old individuals voluntarily have sex with each other in New York State, each being the "victim" of the other.

Other crimes

It appears that the crime of "Predatory sexual assault against a child," a class A-II felony, effectively subsumes all instances of "statutory" first degree rape/criminal sexual act where the victim is under 13 (NY Penal Law §§ 130.35[4], 130.35[4]) and the perpetrator over 18. (NY Penal Law § 130.96.) Thus, any person who commits one of these lesser offenses would necessarily commit the greater offense of "Predatory sexual assault against a child." (See, People v. Lawrence, 81 A.D.3d 1326; 916 N.Y.S.2d 393 [4 Dept. 2011].)

There are other special offenses, namely "Course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree" and "Course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree" that punish sex with an underage person combined with an additional illegal sexual act during wide time period. These do not subject a person to more punishment than the crimes listed above but provide only a gimmick for prosecutors to avoid the requirement that an individual sex act be specified in a rape indictment. (See, People v. Beauchamp, 74 N.Y.2d 639; 539 N.E.2d 1105 [1989].)

(Note that "violent felonies" are specified by NY Penal Law § 70.02. Actual "violence" is irrelevant.)

New York Penal Law Article 130

North Carolina

The age of consent in North Carolina is 16. However, certain exceptions to this general rule exist.

No employee of a K-12 school can have any sexual activity with any student at that school except when married to the person {§14‑27.7}; this is a felony unless the actor is less than 4 years older than the student and is not a teacher, administrator, student teacher, safety officer, or coach. This prohibition covers adults and students who were at the school at the same time, and continues in force as long as the younger person is a student at any K-12 school, regardless of age.

Any sexual intercourse with a person under 16 years of age is prohibited unless the defendant is less than 4 years older than the victim except when married to the person {§14‑27.2, 14‑27.4 & 14‑27.7A}.

§ 14‑27.7A. Statutory rape or sexual offense of person who is 13, 14, or 15 years old.

(a) A defendant is guilty of a Class B1 felony if the defendant engages in vaginal intercourse or a sexual act with another person who is 13, 14, or 15 years old and the defendant is at least six years older than the person, except when the defendant is lawfully married to the person.

(b) A defendant is guilty of a Class C felony if the defendant engages in vaginal intercourse or a sexual act with another person who is 13, 14, or 15 years old and the defendant is more than four but less than six years older than the person, except when the defendant is lawfully married to the person.

North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 14

North Dakota

The age of consent in North Dakota is 18. It is a felony if the younger one is 15-17 and the older person is an adult of 22 or older, but is reduced to a misdemeanor if they are over 18 but under 22.

12.1-20-03. Gross sexual imposition - Penalty.

1.A person who engages in a sexual act with another, or who causes another to engage in a sexual act, is guilty of an offense if...d.The victim is less than fifteen years old

Section 12.1-20-05 of the code refers to sexual acts between adults and teenagers aged 15, 16 and 17:

12.1-20-05.Corruption or solicitation of minors.

  1. An adult who engages in, solicits with the intent to engage in, or causes another to engage in a sexual act with a minor, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if the victim is a minor fifteen years of age or older.
  2. An adult who solicits with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor under age fifteen or engages in or causes another to engage in a sexual act when the adult is at least twenty-two years of age and the victim is a minor fifteen years of age or older, is guilty of a class C felony.

Ohio

The age of consent in Ohio is 16 as specified by Section 2907.04 of the Ohio Revised Code. However, there exists a close-in-age exception where a minor 13 or older can consent to sex as long as their partner is less than 18 years old.

2907.04 Unlawful sexual conduct with minor.
(A) No person who is eighteen years of age or older shall engage in sexual conduct with another, who is not the spouse of the offender, when the offender knows the other person is thirteen years of age or older but less than sixteen years of age, or the offender is reckless in that regard. {§ 2907.04}.

It is illegal for a person of any age to have sex with a child beneath 13 years of age who they are not married to.

2907.02 (A) 1. No person shall engage in sexual conduct with another who is not the spouse of the offender or who is the spouse of the offender but is living separate and apart from the offender when any of the following applies...

(b) the other is person is less than thirteen years of age, whether or not the offender knows the age of the other person {§ 2907.02}.

However, the preceding statute, Section 2907.03, specifies that sexual conduct between anyone under 18 and a teacher, administrator, or coach of the school they attend, a cleric, or other person in authority, is punishable as a felony of the third degree.

2907.03 Sexual battery.
(A) No person shall engage in sexual conduct with another, not the spouse of the offender, when any of the following apply:
(5) The offender is the other person’s natural or adoptive parent, or a stepparent, or guardian, custodian, or person in loco parentis of the other person.
(7) The offender is a teacher, administrator, coach, or other person in authority employed by or serving in a school for which the state board of education prescribes minimum standards pursuant to division (D) of section 3301.07 of the Revised Code, the other person is enrolled in or attends that school, and the offender is not enrolled in and does not attend that school.
(8) The other person is a minor, the offender is a teacher, administrator, coach, or other person in authority employed by or serving in an institution of higher education, and the other person is enrolled in or attends that institution.
(9) The other person is a minor, and the offender is the other person’s athletic or other type of coach, is the other person’s instructor, is the leader of a scouting troop of which the other person is a member, or is a person with temporary or occasional disciplinary control over the other person.
(12) The other person is a minor, the offender is a cleric, and the other person is a member of, or attends, the church or congregation served by the cleric. {§ 2907.03}

{§ 2907.03}

Ohio law also contains a rule against importuning, which means a perpetrator of any age sexually soliciting a minor over the internet if the minor is under the age of 13, or in the case of a perpetrator 18 years of age or older, sexually soliciting any minor who is under the age of 16. {§ 2907.07}

Oklahoma

The age of consent in Oklahoma is 16.[79][80] A close-in-age exemption applies if the minor was over the age of 14 and the actor was age 18 or younger.[81]

Oregon

The age of consent in Oregon is 18. Sexual offenses are defined under the Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 163. With regards to age only, the following offenses are defined.

18: Consent for all laws. (ORS 163.345 – ORS 163-425)
Under 18: Defined as Sexual Abuse 3 (Class A Misdemeanor)
Under 16: Defined as Rape 3 / Sodomy 3 (Class C Felony)
Under 14: Defined as Rape 2 / Sodomy 2 (Class B Felony)
Under 12: Defined as Rape 1 / Sodomy 1 (Class A Felony)

Additionally, Oregon has a three year rule defined under ORS 163.345. However, this does not apply to Rape 1, or Sodomy 1, effectively limiting the age to 12. However, a person can still be charged with Sexual Misconduct (Class C Misdemeanor) under ORS 163.445, if the victim was under 15 years old.

Pennsylvania

The de jure (in name) age of consent in Pennsylvania is 16 years of age for sexual consent, but a corruption of minors statute against adults corrupting the morals of minors under 18 years of age exists which makes the de facto (in fact) age of consent in Pennsylvania 18 years of age. However, the corruption of minors statute only applies to perpetrators 18 years of age and older, so it is legal for minors 16-17 to have sex with each other but not with a partner 18 or older.

Teenagers aged 13, 14 and 15 may or may not be able to legally engage in sexual activity with partners who are less than 4 years older. Such partners could not be prosecuted under statutory rape laws, but may be liable for other offenses, even when the sexual activity is consensual.[82]

Under Pennsylvania law, a defendant is strictly liable for the offense of rape, a felony of the first degree, when the complainant is 12 or younger. Pennsylvania has enacted several other strict liability sexual offenses when the complainant is under 16, but 13 years old or older.

§ 3122.1. Statutory sexual assault.

Except as provided in section 3121 (relating to rape), a person commits a felony of the second degree when that person engages in sexual intercourse with a complainant under the age of 16 years and that person is four or more years older than the complainant and the complainant and the person are not married to each other.

§ 3125 Aggravated indecent assault

(7) the complainant is less than 13 years of age; or (8) the complainant is less than 16 years of age and the person is four or more years older than the complainant and the complainant and the person are not married to each other. (b) Aggravated indecent assault of a child.--A person commits aggravated indecent assault of a child when the person violates subsection (a)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5) or (6) and the complainant is less than 13 years of age.

§ 3123 Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse

(7) who is less than 16 years of age and the person is four or more years older than the complainant and the complainant and person are not married to each other.

When the alleged victim is 16 or older and less than 18 years of age, and the alleged offender is over the age of 18, the Commonwealth may charge the offense of corruption of minors or unlawful contact with a minor, even if the activity was consensual:

§ 6301 Corruption of minors.

(a) Offense defined.-- (1) Whoever, being of the age of 18 years and upwards, by any act corrupts or tends to corrupt the morals of any minor less than 18 years of age, or who aids, abets, entices or encourages any such minor in the commission of any crime, or who knowingly assists or encourages such minor in violating his or her parole or any order of court, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree.

The crime of corruption of minors is usually a crime that accompanies another "more serious" crime such as statutory rape or involuntary deviate sexual intercourse or accompanies some drug or alcohol use, possession or sale. Tending to corrupt like contributing to delinquency is a broad term involving conduct toward a child in an unlimited variety of ways which tends to produce or to encourage or to continue conduct of the child which would amount to delinquent conduct."[83]

The question of whether consensual intercourse with a minor 16 years or older tends to corrupt the morals of that minor is a jury question to be decided by the "common sense of the community."[84]

§ 6318. Unlawful contact with minor.

(a) Offense defined.--A person commits an offense if he is intentionally in contact with a minor, or a law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his duties who has assumed the identity of a minor, for the purpose of engaging in an activity prohibited under any of the following, and either the person initiating the contact or the person being contacted is within this Commonwealth: (1) Any of the offenses enumerated in Chapter 31 (relating to sexual offenses). (2) Open lewdness as defined in section 5901 (relating to open lewdness). (3) Prostitution as defined in section 5902 (relating to prostitution and related offenses). (4) Obscene and other sexual materials and performances as defined in section 5903 (relating to obscene and other sexual materials and performances). (5) Sexual abuse of children as defined in section 6312 (relating to sexual abuse of children). (6) Sexual exploitation of children as defined in section 6320 (relating to sexual exploitation of children).

Rhode Island

The age of consent in Rhode Island is 16. Sexual intercourse with a minor aged 14 or 15 by an actor 18 or older is third degree sexual assault, sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of 14 by an actor of any age is child molestation. However, there is a close-in-age exception that allows people aged 16–17 to have sex with a minor aged 14 or 15, but not younger.

§ 11-37-6 Third degree sexual assault. – A person is guilty of third degree sexual assault if he or she is over the age of eighteen (18) years and engaged in sexual penetration with another person over the age of fourteen (14) years and under the age of consent, sixteen (16) years of age.[85] § 11-37-8.1 First degree child molestation sexual assault. – A person is guilty of first degree child molestation sexual assault if he or she engages in sexual penetration with a person fourteen (14) years of age or under.[86]

South Carolina

The age of consent in South Carolina is 16 .

SECTION 16-3-651. Criminal sexual conduct: definitions...(h) "Sexual battery" means sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intercourse, or any intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person's body or of any object into the genital or anal openings of another person's body, except when such intrusion is accomplished for medically recognized treatment or diagnostic purposes.

SECTION 16-3-655. Criminal sexual conduct with a minor; aggravating and mitigating circumstances; penalties; repeat offenders. (B) A person is guilty of criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the second degree if:...(2) the actor engages in sexual battery with a victim who is at least fourteen years of age but who is less than sixteen years of age and the actor is in a position of familial, custodial, or official authority to coerce the victim to submit or is older than the victim. However, a person may not be convicted of a violation of the provisions of this item if he is eighteen years of age or less when he engages in illicit but consensual sexual conduct with another person who is at least fourteen years of age. In addition, mistake of age may be used as a defense.

SECTION 16-15-140. Committing or attempting lewd act upon child under sixteen. It is unlawful for a person over the age of fourteen years to willfully and lewdly commit or attempt a lewd or lascivious act upon or with the body, or its parts, of a child under the age of sixteen years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of the person or of the child.[87]

South Dakota

The age of consent in South Dakota is 16 and there is no close-in-age exemption, although if the perpetrator is within three years of age of the victim or is under 18 the penalties are reduced.

22-22-1. Rape defined—Degrees—Felony. Rape is an act of sexual penetration accomplished with any person under any of the following circumstances:...(5)If the victim is thirteen years of age, but less than sixteen years of age, and the perpetrator is at least three years older than the victim.

22-22-7. Sexual contact with child under sixteen—Felony or misdemeanor. Any person, sixteen years of age or older, who knowingly engages in sexual contact with another person, other than that person's spouse if the other person is under the age of sixteen years is guilty of a Class 3 felony. If the actor is less than three years older than the other person, the actor is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If an adult has a previous conviction for a felony violation of this section, any subsequent felony conviction for a violation under this section, is a Class 2 felony. Notwithstanding § 23A-42-2, a charge brought pursuant to this section may be commenced at any time before the victim becomes age twenty-five or within seven years of the commission of the crime, whichever is longer.

22-22-7.3. Sexual contact with child under sixteen years of age—Violation as misdemeanor. Any person, younger than sixteen years of age, who knowingly engages in sexual contact with another person, other than his or her spouse, if such other person is younger than sixteen years of age, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Tennessee

The age of consent in Tennessee is 18. A close-in-age exemption allows minors aged 13–17 to engage in sexual acts with partners less than 4 years older. Penalties differ depending on the age of the minor, as well as the age difference between the minor and the offender. (see Article 39-13-506. Statutory rape).[88]

Texas

The age of consent in Texas is 17 (Texas Penal Code Section 21.11). However, "...It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the actor...was not more than three years older than the victim and of the opposite sex...(and) did not use duress, force, or a threat against the victim at the time of the offence" and is not a registered sex offender Section 21.11 (b), Section 22.011 (e).

Section 21.12 further prohibits all sexual contact between an employee of a school (including educators) and a student enrolled at the primary or secondary school where said employee works (unless the student is the employee's spouse). No age is specified by the statute (thus, even if the student has reached consent age of 17, it is still a violation), and violations are a second degree felony.

The portion criminalizing all relations between teachers and students was passed in 2003. The law's author stated that he only intended to criminalize sexual relations of students 17 and under. During a period after the bill's author made those statements, a teacher engaged in sexual intercourse with her 18-year-old student, and a Texas court refused to indict her.[71]

However, sex with a child under the age of 14 is considered aggravated sexual assault Section 22.021 (a.2.B).

Utah

The age of consent in Utah is 18. However, it is legal for minors aged 16 and 17 to engage in sexual activity with partners less than 7 years older, and between 7 and 10 years older if the partner reasonably didn't know the minor's age.[89]

76-5-401.2. Unlawful sexual conduct with a 16 or 17 year old.

(1) As used in this section, "minor" means a person who is 16 years of age or older, but younger than 18 years of age, at the time the sexual conduct described in Subsection (2) occurred.

(2)

(a) A person commits unlawful sexual conduct with a minor if, under circumstances not amounting to an offense listed under Subsection (3), a person who is:
(i) seven or more years older but less than 10 years older than the minor at the time of the sexual conduct engages in any conduct listed in Subsection (2)(b), and the person knew or reasonably should have known the age of the minor; or
(ii) 10 or more years older than the minor at the time of the sexual conduct and engages in any conduct listed in Subsection (2)(b).
(b) As used in Subsection (2)(a), "sexual conduct" refers to when the person:
(i) has sexual intercourse with the minor;
(ii) engages in any sexual act with the minor involving the genitals of one person and the mouth or anus of another person, regardless of the sex of either participant;
(iii) causes the penetration, however slight, of the genital or anal opening of the minor by any foreign object, substance, instrument, or device, including a part of the human body, with the intent to cause substantial emotional or bodily pain to any person or with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, regardless of the sex of any participant; or
(iv) touches the anus, buttocks, or any part of the genitals of the minor, or touches the breast of a female minor, or otherwise takes indecent liberties with the minor, or causes a minor to take indecent liberties with the actor or another person, with the intent to cause substantial emotional or bodily pain to any person or with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person regardless of the sex of any participant.

76-5-401. Unlawful sexual activity with a minor—Elements—Penalties—Evidence of age raised by defendant.

(1) For purposes of this section "minor" is a person who is 14 years of age or older, but younger than 16 years of age, at the time the sexual activity described in this section occurred.

(2) A person commits unlawful sexual activity with a minor if, under circumstances not amounting to rape, in violation of Section 76-5-402, object rape, in violation of Section 76-5-402.2, forcible sodomy, in violation of Section 76-5-403, or aggravated sexual assault, in violation of Section 76-5-405, the actor:

(a) has sexual intercourse with the minor;
(b) engages in any sexual act with the minor involving the genitals of one person and the mouth or anus of another person, regardless of the sex of either participant; or
(c) causes the penetration, however slight, of the genital or anal opening of the minor by any foreign object, substance, instrument, or device, including a part of the human body, with the intent to cause substantial emotional or bodily pain to any person or with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, regardless of the sex of any participant.

(3) A violation of Subsection (2) is a third degree felony unless the defendant establishes by a preponderance of the evidence the mitigating factor that the defendant is less than four years older than the minor at the time the sexual activity occurred, in which case it is a class B misdemeanor.

Vermont

The age of consent in Vermont is 16.

Title 13 V.S.A. § 3252.[90]

Sexual assault:

§3252(c) No person shall engage in a sexual act with a child who is under the age of 16, except:

  1. where the persons are married to each other and the sexual act is consensual; or
  2. where the person is less than 19 years old, the child is at least 15 years old, and the sexual act is consensual.

However it rises to 18 if the person is related to the minor or in a position of authority over him.

(d) No person shall engage in a sexual act with a child who is under the age of 18 and is entrusted to the actor's care by authority of law or is the actor's child, grandchild, foster child, adopted child, or stepchild.

Virginia

The age of consent in Virginia is 18, with a close-in-age exception that allows teenagers aged 15 to 17 to engage in sexual acts but only with a partner younger than 18.

Section § 18.2-63 of the Code refers to minors younger than 15, while § 18.2-371 is about 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds.

Section 18.2-63 states in part:

"If any person carnally knows, without the use of force, a child thirteen years of age or older but under fifteen years of age, such person shall be guilty of ... felony ... For the purposes of this section, (i) a child under the age of thirteen years shall not be considered a consenting child and (ii) "carnal knowledge" includes the acts of sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, analingus, anal intercourse, and animate and inanimate object sexual penetration."

Consensual sex where one partner is 15, 16 or 17 and the other is over 18 is a class 1 misdemeanor.

§ 18.2-371. Causing or encouraging acts rendering children delinquent, abused, etc.; penalty; abandoned infant. Any person 18 years of age or older, including the parent of any child, who (i) willfully contributes to, encourages, or causes any act, omission, or condition which renders a child delinquent, in need of services, in need of supervision, or abused or neglected as defined in § 16.1-228, or (ii) engages in consensual sexual intercourse with a child 15 or older not his spouse, child, or grandchild, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.'

Washington

The age of consent in Washington is 16.

It is also illegal to engage in sexual acts with someone younger than 18 under three different sets of circumstances, enumerated in RCW 9A.44.096. Foster parents with their foster children; school teachers and school administration employees over their students (including, as interpreted by the Washington State Supreme Court, students up to age 21[91]); The third set of circumstances require all of the following situations occur in tandem: The older person is 60 months or more older than the 16- or 17-year-old, the person is in a significant relationship as defined by RCW 9A.44.010, and such older person abuses the relationship to have sexual contact.

There are also three exceptions for people close in age.

  • RCW 9A.44.079 "A person is guilty of rape of a child in the third degree when the person has sexual intercourse with another who is at least fourteen years old but less than sixteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least forty-eight months older than the victim. Rape of a child in the third degree is a class C felony."
  • RCW 9A.44.076 "A person is guilty of rape of a child in the second degree when the person has sexual intercourse with another who is at least twelve years old but less than fourteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least thirty-six months older than the victim. Rape of a child in the second degree is a class A felony."
  • RCW 9A.44.073 "A person is guilty of rape of a child in the first degree when the person has sexual intercourse with another who is less than twelve years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least twenty-four months older than the victim. Rape of a child in the first degree is a class A felony."

Several have reported that the immoral communication with a minor statute exists and places the age of consent at 18 due to the inability to "communicate" to 16- and 17-year-olds about sexual activity. These reports are incorrect. The Washington Court of Appeals, Division 1 decided in the case of State v. Danforth, 56 Wn. App. 133, 782 P.2d 1091 (1989) that such communication has to be for the purposes of committing an illegal act under RCW Chapter 9.68A. Danforth's conviction was overturned by that ruling. However, the Washington Supreme Court in the case of State v. McNallie, 120 Wn.2d 925, 846 P.2d 1358 (1993) overturned the scope of the Danforth ruling (though not the result; Danforth would have still had his conviction overturned under the McNallie standard), applying the communication statute to encompass all sexual misconduct with a minor, not just those under RCW Chapter 9.68A, which deal mostly with illegal child pornography and prostitution. Due to these cases, it is clear that communications with 16- and 17-year-olds just for general sexual activity is legal, as long as such conduct discussed is not about illegal conduct or would be illegal in real life (such as the teacher/student circumstance, the foster parent/foster child circumstance, the significant relationship abuse circumstance, or asking for illegal pictures or attempting to bring such younger persons into prostitution).

A state statute makes it illegal for a teacher and a "minor" student defined as “at least sixteen years old.” The Washington State Supreme Court ruled that this policy affects all high school students up to 21 years of age, which under state law is the age cap for enrollment in high school.[91]

West Virginia

The age of consent in West Virginia is 16.[92]

§61-8B-5. Sexual assault in the third degree.

(a) A person is guilty of sexual assault in the third degree when:

(2) The person, being sixteen years old or more, engages in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion with another person who is less than sixteen years old and who is at least four years younger than the defendant and is not married to the defendant.

Wisconsin

The age of consent in Wisconsin is 18 and there is no close-in-age exception. There is, however, a marital exception which allows a person to have sex with a minor 16 or older if they are married to the minor. If the minor is below 16 both sexual intercourse and any sexual contact are a felony; sexual intercourse with a minor 16-17 by a perpetrator who is not married to the minor is a class a misdemeanor. However, Wisconsin has a child enticement law that prohibits people of any age from taking people under 18 to a private area such as a room and exposing a sex organ to them or having the minor expose their sex organ to them. This is a class B or C felony.[93] 948.09 Sexual intercourse with a child age 16 or older. Whoever has sexual intercourse with a child who is not the defendant’s spouse and who has attained the age of 16 years is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

948.02 Sexual assault of a child. (...) (2) Second degree sexual assault. Whoever has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a person who has not attained the age of 16 years is guilty of a Class C felony.

If the minor is below 16 marriage to the minor by the accused is not a defense.

948.02(4) Marriage not a bar to prosecution. A defendant shall not be presumed to be incapable of violating this section because of marriage to the complainant.[94]

Sexual intercourse with a child younger than 13 carries the highest penalties, it is a Class B felony. 948.02 (e) Whoever has sexual contact with a child who has not attained the age of 13 years is guilty of a class b felony.[94]

Wisconsin law contains an unusual provision making it a class f felony for a person responsible for a child under the age of 16 years such as a parent to not prevent their child from having sexual contact with another person if it was realistically possible for them to do so and they were aware that the other person intended to have sex with their child. (3) Failure to act. A person responsible for the welfare of a child who has not attained the age of 16 years is guilty of a Class F felony if that person has knowledge that another person intends to have, is having or has had sexual intercourse or sexual contact with the child, is physically and emotionally capable of taking action which will prevent the intercourse or contact from taking place or being repeated, fails to take that action and the failure to act exposes the child to an unreasonable risk that intercourse or contact may occur between the child and the other person or facilitates the intercourse or contact that does occur between the child and the other person.[95]

Child Enticement. Section 948.07, Wisconsin Statutes, prohibits causing or enticing a child into any vehicle, building, room, or secluded place with the intent to: commit an act of first or second-degree sexual assault; cause the child to engage in prostitution; expose a sex organ to the child or cause the child to expose a sex organ; or take pictures or make audio recordings of the child engaging in sexually explicit conduct (Class BC felony).

Wyoming

The age of consent in Wyoming is 17.

6‑2‑304. Sexual assault in the third degree. (a) An actor commits sexual assault in the third degree if, under circumstances not constituting sexual assault in the first or second degree: (i) The actor is at least four (4) years older than the victim and inflicts sexual intrusion on a victim under the age of sixteen (16) years...

The age of consent in Wyoming was thought by some to be 16, as stated above by Section 6‑2‑304. However, in the cases of Pierson v. State and Moore v. State, the Wyoming Supreme Court held that sexual activity with minors aged 16 or 17 could be charged under Section 14-3-105 of Wyoming Statutes. That statute was repealed in 2007 and re-codified as Section 6-2-316, which provides, in pertinent part as follows:

6-2-316. Sexual abuse of a minor in the third degree. (a) Except under circumstance constituting sexual abuse of a minor in the first or second degree as defined by W.S. 6-2-314 and 6-2-315, an actor commits the crime of sexual abuse of a minor in the third degree if: ... (iv) Being seventeen (17) years of age or older, the actor knowingly takes immodest, immoral or indecent liberties with a victim who is less than seventeen (17) years of age and the victim is at least four (4) years younger than the actor.

United States Virgin Islands (United States)

Paraphrasing Virgin Islands Code: V.I.C. § 1700-1709 Virgin Islands Code and appeals records Francis vs. VI NOTE: "mistake of fact as to the victim's age is not a defense". The age of consent is 18. There is however a close-in-age exemption that allows minors 16 and 17 years old to consent with someone no more than five years older than themselves and minors 13 to 15 years old to consent with one another, but not with anyone 16 or over.

Article § 1700. Aggravated rape in the first degree bans sexual intercourse or sodomy with a child under 13. Sexual acts with minors are aggravated by the use of force, intimidation, or the perpetrator's position of authority, and by the fact that the minor, being under 16 and not the perpetrator's spouse, is residing in the same household as the perpetrator.(see Article § 1700, Article § 1702, Article § 1708).

Other relevant articles of the criminal code are:

  • § 1702. Rape in the second degree

(a) Any person over 18 years of age who perpetrates under circumstances not amounting to rape in the first degree, an act of sexual intercourse or sodomy with a person not the perpetrator's spouse who is at least 16 years but less than 18 years of age, and the perpetrator is 5 years or older than the victim, is guilty of rape in the second degree and shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years.

  • § 1703. Rape in the third degree

Any person under 18 years of age but over 16 years of age who perpetrates an act of sexual intercourse or sodomy with a person not the perpetrator's spouse who is under 16 years of age but over 13 years of age, under circumstances not amounting to rape in the first degree, is guilty of rape in the third degree and shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Family Division of the Superior Court

"Sexual contact", that is, non-penetrative sex, defined as "the intentional touching of a person's intimate parts, whether directly or through clothing, to arouse or to gratify the sexual desires of any person" is not permitted with children under 16, but a close-in-age exemption allows those aged at least 13 to engage in such acts with partners under 18.

  • § 1708. Unlawful sexual contact in the first degree

A person who engages in sexual contact with a person not the perpetrator's spouse— (..)(2) when the other person is under thirteen years of age;

  • § 1709. Unlawful sexual contact in the second degree

A person over eighteen years of age who engages in sexual contact with a person not the perpetrator's spouse who is over thirteen but under sixteen years of age is guilty of unlawful sexual contact in the second degree and shall be imprisoned not more than 1 year

See also

References

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  77. ^ a b http://www.nebraskalegislature.gov/laws/statutes.php?statute=28-319.01
  78. ^ "2006 New Mexico Code - Section 30-9-11 — Criminal sexual penetration. - New Mexico Section 30-9-11 — Criminal sexual penetration. :: Justia - US Laws, Codes, Statutes & Cases - Justia". Law.justia.com. Retrieved 16 February 2011. 
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  82. ^ e.g. § 6318. Unlawful contact with minor (does not require the offender to be over the age of 18) or § 6301. Corruption of minors (requires the offender to be over the age of 18)
  83. ^ "''See Commonwealth v. Decker'', 26 Pa. D. & C. 4th 157 (1995)". Scholar.google.com. Retrieved 16 February 2011. 
  84. ^ Id. at 161.
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External links

  • FBI website - describes various federal crimes against minors