Vermont Age of Consent Lawyers

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What is the Age of Consent for Sex in Vermont?

Vermont is among the very few states with a single age of consent. The age of consent for sexual conduct in Vermont is 16 years old.

The majority of other states make some allowances in their age of consent laws for adolescents who are close to the same age, recognizing that these relationships are not exploitative, and are not the type of thing which age of consent laws are designed to prevent. In most states, adolescents who are below the age of consent (but over some other age, usually 14) can consent to have sex with each other if they are close to the same age (usually within 3 or 4 years).

Vermont is different. The day before an adolescent’s 16th birthday, he or she cannot legally have sex with anyone. The day after, he or she can have sex with any adult, regardless of the age difference between them.

While this scheme is simple and easy to administer, it can lead to some harsh results, especially since violation of these laws can result in prison terms of up to 20 years.

For example, if 2 partners under the age of consent have sex with each other, they are both committing a crime. Each partner is simultaneously the offender and the victim. 

Vermont’s law is written to only apply to heterosexual conduct. It currently has no valid statute governing homosexual conduct, so it is not clear at what age a person can legally consent to such conduct in Vermont. To be on the safe side, one should assume that, at the very least, the age of consent for homosexual conduct in Vermont is the same as for heterosexual conduct (16). To be safer, one should assume that it is 18, or even 21.

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Last Modified: 11-23-2009 12:13 PM PST

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