What are the laws on dating a minor in California? Minors_ Legal Questions & Answers
"adult" is a person who is at least 18 years of age. (b) Any person who engages in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who is not more than three. The age of consent refers to the age at which a person can legally marry and/or Age of consent laws essentially prohibit a minor from engaging in sexual acts. The age of consent in California has been 18 since By there had been civil court rulings in California stating that minors under 18 may the age of consent is 18 under state criminal law.
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. 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. 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.
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.
My Son Is Dating a Minor | CRC Health Group
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. 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 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 year-old boy was sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a year-old girl. Inthe Georgia Supreme Court reversed the conviction of a man convicted of raping a year-old girl because the age of consent in Georgia was 10 at the time.
Nonetheless, the Court recommended raising the Georgia age of consent, saying "the age of consent in many States is higher than in this State, and should be made higher here; and a committee of ladies" is petitioning to do that. 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. Avery Chumbleya member of the Hawaiian Senatehad made efforts to raise the age of consent. 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.
- What is the Legal "Age of Consent?"
- Statutory Rape: The Age of Consent
- My Son Is Dating a Minor: Should I Be Worried About the Legal Implications?
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. Like Lewd Conduct above, this law does not discriminate by gender.
There is no close-in-age exception, crossing the age boundary is Criminal Sexual Assault.
Ages of consent in the United States
Although Illinois' minimum marriage age with parental consent or court order is 16,  there is no statutory exception to the age of sexual consent. History of Illinois laws[ edit ] Bill was introduced in to decriminalize sexual relationships between children 13—16 years old and those fewer than five years older, but the bill failed to pass. Republican state representative Dennis Reboletti of Elmhurst stated that he did not believe judges should be able to reverse decisions made by prosecutors.
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 15although this defense does not apply in the case of violence, threats or drugs. 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.What Is The Legal Age Of Consent In California?
The age limit rises to 18, according to IC, 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. Only 12 states set a specific age ranging from 16 to 18while in the majority of states, the age of consent depends on multiple factors, including the ages of each partner and the number of years between them.
The purpose behind most statutory rape laws is to punish grown adults who take sexual advantage of a minor. The following are just a few examples of Romeo and Juliet laws currently in place in the United States: In New Jersey, the age of consent is 16, but individuals who are at least 13 years of age can legally engage in sexual activities if their partner is less than 4 years older than them. In the District of Columbia, it is illegal to engage in sexual intercourse with someone who is under the age of 16 the age of consent if the defendant is 4 or more years older than the victim.
According to Louisiana law, it is a misdemeanor for someone aged 17 to 19 to have consensual sex with someone aged 15 to 17 if the difference between their ages is more than two years.
California law declares it a misdemeanor to have sex with someone younger than 18 if the offender is less than three years older; someone more than three years older could be charged with a felony.
Exceptions and Other Considerations In addition to Romeo and Juliet laws, some states have specific exemptions when both parties to the sexual act are minors, or the person to be charged is legally married to the minor.
However, there are still restrictions in some states about the type of sexual activity that is permissible, such as oral sex and sodomy, as well as restrictions on relationships involving a minor and a person of authority, including teachers, coaches, or tutors. All states have special provisions if any physical force was used or serious physical injury resulted.
Until recently, statutory rape laws applied only to females, ignoring situations involving sex between an adult female and underage male. Today, most laws are gender neutral, and a number of women in authority positions such as Mary Kay Letourneau, Debra Lafave, Pamela Rogers Turner, and Pamela Smart have been prosecuted for engaging in sexual relationships with younger males. Does the Punishment Fit the Crime?
While many states have strict statutory rape laws on the books, prosecutors have been inconsistent in enforcing them, says Mark Chaffin, a researcher with the National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth.
One particularly shocking case drew international attention when year-old Georgia resident, Genarlow Wilson, was charged with aggravated child molestation and sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a year-old girl. Georgia law, which has since been changed to classify this act as a misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of one year in prison, also required Wilson to register as a sex offender when he was released.
Are Statutory Rape Laws Outdated? Statutory rape laws are based on the premise that although young girls may want to have sex, they may not have enough experience or discernment to make a mature, informed decision. The laws are designed to protect young people who have less information and power than their and-over counterparts.
For example, minors may be less likely than adults to understand sexually transmitted diseases, have access to contraception, and have the resources to raise a child if they become pregnant. Most people believe there is a clear line between young people wanting to date and have sex, and adults molesting or assaulting a child. And most would agree that the difference between intimacy and abuse should be reflected in the laws of each state.
But not all parties agree on how strict the laws should be.