Statutory rape is the crime of having sexual intercourse with a minor. Sexual intercourse with a minor is a crime because minors cannot legally give consent to engage in sexual intercourse with an adult regardless of whether the minor wants to have sex. Who qualifies as a minor for purposes of statutory rape varies from state to state.
Are Statutory Rape and Rape the Same Criminal Charge?
No. Statutory rape involves engaging in sexual intercourse with a minor, regardless of whether the victim wanted to have sexual intercourse. With a rape charge, the age of the victim does not matter. The issue is whether the victim wanted to have sex or if they were forced into sex.
How Is Statutory Rape Defined in North Carolina?
There are three separate statutory rape crimes in North Carolina. They are first-degree statutory rape, statutory rape of a child by an adult, and statutory rape of person who is 15 years of age or younger. All three crimes involve the perpetrator engaging in vaginal intercourse with a minor.
What Is First-Degree Statutory Rape in North Carolina?
First-degree statutory rape is the crime of engaging in vaginal intercourse with a victim under 13 years old. The perpetrator must be both at least 12 years old and four or more years older than their victim. Thus, a person who is 14 years old can only be guilty of this crime if their victim is 10 years old or younger.
Will I Have Rights to Any Children That May Result from Committing This Rape?
No. Just like with all other rape crimes in North Carolina, anyone who is convicted of first-degree statutory rape is not allowed to have any parental rights of a child who is born as a result of the criminal sexual activity. These rights include custody rights and rights of inheritance.
What Is the Punishment for First-Degree Statutory Rape in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, first-degree statutory rape is a Class B1 felony. The punishment for a first-time conviction of a Class B1 felony is 192 to 240 months in prison.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Contact a North Carolina lawyer immediately for help with your statutory rape case. Your lawyer will explain all of the defenses available to you.