Statutory rape occurs when someone over the age of consent has sex with someone below the age of consent, or a minor. The age of consent and the ability of parents to consent for their children are issues that have been decided differently in many jurisdictions. Even if an individual who is under the age of consent, says 'yes' and initiates sex with someone over the age of consent, the law says it is still statutory rape because the that younger person has no legal right to give consent.
How Does Rape Differ from Statutory Rape?
Rape is when someone forces another person to have sex against their will. Statutory rape is when the government has passed laws saying that in certain situations, even if both people consent to the sex, it is still against the law.
Can Anyone Press Charges?
In some jurisdictions, anyone can press charges. If someone over the age of consent has sex with someone over the age of consent, the older individual can still go to jail even if the only person pressing charges is the arresting officer.
What If the Younger Person Lies About Their Age?
Even if the younger person lies about their age, the older person is usually still charged, because it is the older person's responsibility to determine the real age of the individual, and make sure their actions are legal.
Should I Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney?
Because the laws that regulate statutory rape offenses vary from jurisdiction, it may be helpful to consult a criminal defense attorney in your area. The complicated nature of this area of law can also make the advice of a criminal defense attorney very beneficial for determining how to best handle your legal problems.