Generally, the age of consent for females is 16, and for males it is 18. This only applies to heterosexual conduct. Massachusetts currently has no law which addresses the age of consent for homosexual conduct.
Under Massachusetts state laws, the standard for the age of consent is even higher when one partner maintains a position of power over the other partner, such as an employer, a teacher, or a member of the clergy. In such cases the age of consent may be 18 and in some instances 21 years old.
Persons must be at least 18 years old to legally marry in the state of Massachusetts. Unlike some other states, parental permission is not considered to be sufficient to allow persons to marry who are under 18 years old. A court order must be obtained from a district court where the minor resides before the marriage documents can be filed.
The Crime of “Criminal Inducement”
However, penalties for criminal inducement are less severe when compared to similar laws of other states. In Massachusetts, the penalty for criminal inducement is 3 years in state prison, whereas in other states the sentence may be 10 to 20 years in prison for similar offenses. Should you have reason to believe that you may have had sex with an underage minor, consider talking with an experienced Massachusetts criminal lawyer using LegalMatch – just click the "Find a Lawyer" button above.