In Delaware, the age of consent to have sex is 16 for women and 18 for men. As in most states, it does not matter if the offender was ignorant as to the victim’s actual age, or if the offender reasonably believed that the victim had reached the age of consent.  If a woman is under 16 years old, or a man is under 18 years old, having sex with him or her is against the law. 

In fact, Delaware considers having sex with someone under 16 rape. Having sex with someone under 18, if the offender is over 30, is also considered rape.

Compared to some other states, the penalties for violating Delaware’s age of consent laws are very harsh. A “typical” statutory rape offense could carry a prison sentence of 10 years.

Should I Contact an Attorney?

If you have been accused of violating age of consent laws (i.e. statutory rape), you should contact a local Delaware criminal defense lawyer immediately.