Statutory rape is something that can sometimes be misunderstood. There are many laws in place that prevent people over the age of 21 from having sexual relationships with minors. However, there are also laws in place that allow certain age gaps and acceptable age limits. The age of consent varies by state.
When someone is below the age of consent, you can’t legally have sex with them or participate in sexual activities. Typically, the age of consent is between 16 and 18 years old. While most states originally held the position that the older party had strict liability, that has now changed. In the past, that meant that if the older party was tricked into having a sexual relationship with someone under the age of consent, he or she would still be held accountable.
Today, it can be a defense if that person can show that he or she did not know the other party was a minor. For example, if the minor presented an ID that had a different birthdate on it, the other party would have no way of knowing that their partner was still a minor. The defense can usually only be used when it would be believable and when the minor is no younger than 14.
If you’ve been accused of statutory rape, your attorney can help you go over your state laws to determine which kinds of defenses would work best for you. You deserve the chance to explain yourself, because a charge that leads to a conviction could result in your name on the sex offender registry. Our website has more information.