In Arizona, it is illegal to engage in sexual intercourse with a person under the age of consent, which is 18 years old. If such intercourse occurs, the victim can press criminal charges against the adult for statutory rape.
Defense to Rape
However, in Arizona, a genuine and reasonable ignorance of the age of the victim of statutory rape may operate as a defense. The victim must be aged 15, 16, or 17, and the offender must have been actually ignorant of his or her age and must not have had any reason to know that the victim might be under the age of 18.
The Defense Does Not Apply to Everyone
If the victim is under the age of 15, ignorance of his or her age will not be a defense.
If the victim is under the age of 18, but older than 15, and the offender is under 19 and no more than 24 months older than the victim, this is a defense to statutory rape.
Consulting an Attorney
If you are accused of rape or are a victim of rape, then a criminal lawyer can help you. An experienced lawyer near you can either clear your name or help you seek legal recourse by helping you file the appropriate paperwork in court and speaking on your behalf.