Statutory rape is a crime that occurs a person has consensual sex with someone under the age of consent. Statutory rape is a strict liability crime, meaning that the intention of the parties is not considered and as such mistake of age is usually not allowed as a defense. The age of consent varies from state to state.
In Texas, it is considered statutory rape to have sex with someone under the age of 17. However, there is a close-in-age exception that allows a person to have sex with someone under 17 as long as the older person is not more than three years older than the minor. This exception does not apply to people who have to register as sex offenders or to couples of the same sex.
If you have sex with someone under 17 who you are not married to, you might be charged with statutory rape. If you do not fall under the close-in-age exception, a conviction for statutory rape (called "indecency with a child" in Texas) can result in a prison sentence ranging from 2 to 20 years.
If you have sex with someone under 14 then the crime can be considered aggravated sexual assault and has a prison sentence that can range from a minimum of 5 years to a maximum sentence of life in prison.
If you have been accused of statutory rape you should speak with a lawyer immediately. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to advise you of your rights, help you build a defense, and advise you as to what your options may be. In a recent case of statutory rape in Sugarland, a Houston area defense lawyer was successful in getting a client alternative sentencing and possible future expungement.