Ages of consent in North America: Wikis

  
  

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Age of consent laws for heterosexual sex Worldwide

The ages of consent in North America for sexual activity vary by jurisdiction.

The age of consent in Canada is 16 and all US states set their limits between 16 and 18.

The ages of consent in the countries of Central America range from 15 to 18.

The age of consent in Mexico is complex. Typically, Mexican states have a "primary" age of consent (which may be as low as 12), and sexual conduct with children below that age is always illegal. Sexual relations between adults and teenagers are left in a legal gray area: laws against adults "corrupting" minors may be used sometimes to punish such sexual encounters, as well as laws against engaging in sexual relations with "chaste and honest" teenage girls by means of "seduction". These laws are situational and are subject to interpretation.

Contents

Overview

The age of consent is the age at or above which a person is considered to have the legal capacity to consent to sexual activity. Both partners must be of legal age to give consent, although exceptions may exist when both partners are within a certain number of years in age. Persons below the age of consent may not, by law, give consent, and sexual relations involving such persons may be punished by criminal sanctions similar to those for rape or sexual assault. Non-violent sexual contact with persons under the age of consent may be punished as "statutory rape" or a similar legal term.

Historically, the age of consent applied to male-female relationships; homosexual relationships were often illegal in themselves regardless of the ages. Modern laws have explicitly recognized different relationships, but the circumstances may affect the legal status, and there may be multiple "ages" that apply in any jurisdiction. For instance, different ages may apply if the relationship is homosexual, or if the sexual contact is other than vaginal intercourse. Also, different ages may apply if one partner is in a position of power or authority over the other (e.g., a teacher-student relationship).

Antigua and Barbuda

In Antigua and Barbuda, the age of consent is 16. The Sexual Offences Act of 1995 [16] raised the age of consent from 14 to 16 years of age.[1]

  • Sexual Intercourse with female between fourteen and sixteen

6. (1) Where a male person has sexual intercourse with a female person who is not his wife with her consent and who has attained the age of fourteen yers but has not yet attained the age of sixteen years, he is guilty of an offence, and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for ten years.

(2) A male person is not guilty of an offence under subsection (1) –

(a) if he honestly believed that the female person was sixteen years of age or more; or

(b) if the male person is not more than three years older than the female person and the court is of the opinion that the evidence discloses that as between the male person and the female person, the male person is not wholly or substantially to blame.

  • Sexual intercourse with male under sixteen

7. (1) Where a female adult has sexual intercourse with a male person who is not her husband and who is under the age of sixteen years, she is guilty of an offence, whether or not the male person consented to the intercourse, and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for seven years.

A female adult is not guilty of an offence under subsection (1) –

(a) if she honestly believed that the male person was sixteen years of age or more; or

(b) if the female adult is not more than three years older than the male person and the court is of the opinion that evidence discloses that as between the female adult and the male person, the female adult is not wholly or substantially to blame.

Bahamas

In the Bahamas, the age of consent for opposite-sex activity is 16 and the age of consent for same-sex activity is 18. Since 1991 homosexuality was legalized. However, "public homosexuality" is an offense that carries a 20 year jail term without parole. Art. 16

11. (1) Any person who has unlawful sexual intercourse with any person being of or above fourteen years of age and under sixteen years of age, whether with or without the consent of the person with whom he had unlawful sexual intercourse, is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for life subject to, on a first conviction for the offence, a term of imprisonment of seven years and, in the case of a second or subsequent conviction for the offence, a term of imprisonment of fourteen years. [2]

Further reading:

Barbados

In Barbados the age of consent is 16.

Section 5, part I ‘Sexual intercourse with person between 14 and 16’ of the Sexual Offences Act 1992

(1) Where a person has sexual intercourse with another with the other's consent and that other person has attained the age of 14 but has not yet attained the age of 16 that person is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term of 10 years. [17]

Belize

In Belize, the age of consent is 16 for all heterosexuals. Since 2003, homosexuality has been re-criminalized (regardless of age) [18]

The legislation reads:

Criminal Code [CAP. 101] [19]

  • Section 47.2

"Every person who (a) unlawfully and carnally knows any girl who is of or above the age of fourteen years but under the age of sixteen years (...) shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction thereof be imprisoned for a term which shall not be less than five years nor more than ten years."

  • Section 53. "Unnatural Crime"

“Every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.”

Bermuda

In Bermuda, the age of consent is 16 for heterosexual and female homosexual acts, while the age of consent for male homosexual acts is maintained at 18.

Male homosexual acts were decriminalized in Bermuda since 1994 where the above conditions were set[citation needed].

Canada

The Tackling Violent Crime Act took effect on 1 May 2008, raising the age of consent to 16 from 14.[3]

There exist two close in age exemptions, depending on the age of the younger partner. A youth of twelve or thirteen can consent to sexual activity with an individual no more than two years older than them. A fourteen- or fifteen-year-old can consent to sexual activity with a partner who is no more than five years older than them. [20]

Although Canada is a federation, the criminal law (including the definition of the age of consent) is in the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government, so the age of consent is uniform throughout Canada. Section 151 of the Criminal Code of Canada makes it a crime to touch, for a sexual purpose, any person under the age of 16 years. Section 153 then goes on to prohibit the sexual touching of a person under 18 by a person in three circumstances: if he or she is in a "position of trust or authority" towards the youth, if the youth is in a "relationship of dependency" with him or her, or if the relationship is "exploitative". The term "position of trust or authority" is not defined in the Code but the courts have ruled that parents, teachers, and medical professionals hold a position of trust or authority towards youth they care for or teach. For determining whether or not a relationship is "exploitative", s. 153 (1.2) of the Code provides that a judge can consider how old the youth is, the difference in ages between the partners, how the relationship evolved, and the degree of control or influence that the older partner has over the youth.

The "position of trust under 18" anti-exploitation rules were expanded in 2005 by Bill C-2 where a judge may choose to term a situation to be sexual exploitation based on the age of the younger party, age difference, evolution of the relationship (how it developed, e.g.: quickly and secretly over the Internet), the control or influence over the young person (degree of control or influence the other person had over the young person). This passed before the 2008 amendments, and they were not repealed so they are still in effect and can apply towards adults in these situations with young persons over the age of consent and under 18 (16-17).

Where an accused is charged with an offence under s. 151 (Sexual Interference), s. 152 (Invitation to sexual touching), s. 153(1) (Sexual exploitation), s. 160(3) (Bestiality in presence of or by child), or s. 173(2) (Indecent acts), or is charged with an offence under s. 271 (Sexual assault), s. 272 (Sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party, or causing bodily harm), or s. 273 (Aggravated sexual assault) in respect of a complainant under the age of fourteen years, it is not a defense that the complainant consented to the activity that forms the subject-matter of the charge.

Anal intercourse

Section 159 of the Criminal Code sets the age of consent for anal intercourse at 18 years, with an exception if the two partners are married. However, courts in Ontario (1995) and Quebec (1998) have independently declared Section 159 of the Criminal Code of Canada (Anal Intercourse) unconstitutional.

History

During the 19th century, the age of consent for heterosexual vaginal sex was 12, in 1890, the Parliament raised the age of consent to 14.[4] The punishment for anyone who had sexual intercourse with a child younger than 14 was life imprisonment and whipping, while the punishment for anyone who only attempted to seduce an underage girl was two years' imprisonment and whipping.[5] Canada had also laws against "seducing" minor girls who were over the age of consent. In 1886, a law was enacted which made the "seduction" of a girl over 12 and under 16 "of previously chaste character" a criminal offence; the "seduction" of a female under 18 "under promise of marriage" was also made illegal in 1886, and amended in 1887 to apply to females under 21.[6] After the raising of the age of consent to 14, the laws against "seducing" minor girls were amended to apply to those older than 14, and various laws of this kind have remained in force through the 20th century.[6] The age of consent was raised from 14 to 16 in the spring of 2008, when the Tackling Violent Crime Act became effective. The age of consent for anal sex still remains 18 under section 159, and the new measures still allow for close in age exceptions between 12 and 16: if there is no more than a two year gap for those 12 and 13, or a five year gap for those 14 and 15.

Female homosexuality was never illegal in the former British colonies; oral sex was legalized in 1969 with the same age of consent as vaginal sex and anal sex was also legalized in 1969, but with a higher age of consent being set at 21, under section 159; then in 1988 the age of consent for anal sex was lowered to 18. As of 2008 there are no plans to repeal section 159, even though it has been ruled unconstitutional in some places of Canada.

Further reading

Costa Rica

In Costa Rica under the Penal Code of 2004, the age of consent is 15, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender.

Relaciones sexuales con personas menores de edad

ARTÍCULO 159.- Quien, aprovechándose de la edad, se haga acceder otenga acceso carnal por vía oral, anal o vaginal, con una persona decualquier sexo, mayor de doce años y menor de quince, aun con su consentimiento, será sancionado con pena de prisión de dos a seis años. Igual pena se impondrá si la acción consiste en introducir, por vía vaginal o anal uno o varios dedos u objetos. (...) [7]


Sexual relations with minors

Translation: Article 159. Anyone who, taking advantage of age, attempts to obtain or obtains carnal access, by oral, anal or vaginal penetration, to a person of either sex who is over 12 and under 15 years of age, even with his or her consent, shall be punishable with two to six years' imprisonment. A similar penalty shall be imposed if the act involves the introduction of one or more fingers or objects into the vagina or anus. (...) [8]

Dominica

In Dominica the age of consent is 16.

‘Defilement of girls between fourteen (14) and sixteen (16) years of age’, Article 4 of the " Sexual Offences Act "

" (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), any person who - a) unlawfully and carnally knows, or attempts to have unlawful carnal knowledge of any girl of or above the age of fourteen (14) years and under the age of sixteen (16) years (...) - is liable to imprisonment for seven years. [9]

El Salvador

In El Salvador, the age of consent appears to be 18 (although the laws are not clear cut in regard to sexual acts with children aged between 15 and 18).

  • CHILDREN YOUNGER THAN 15:

VIOLACIÓN EN MENOR O INCAPAZ

Art. 159.- El que tuviere acceso carnal por vía vaginal o anal con menor de quince años de edad o con otra persona aprovechándose de su enajenación mental, de su estado de inconsciencia o de su incapacidad de resistir, será sancionado con prisión de catorce a veinte años. [10] [11]

Approximate translation: "Anyone who has vaginal or anal knowledge of a minor younger than fifteen years of age or of another person by taking advantage of their insanity, their state of unconsciousness or inability to resist, shall be punished with imprisonment of fourteen to twenty years."

  • CHILDREN AGED BETWEEN 15 AND 18:

Several laws apply to sex with children aged between 15 and 18.


Article 169 makes it illegal to "promote, facilitate, manage, finance, instigate or organize in any way the use of persons under eighteen years of age in sexual or erotic acts individually or organized, publicly or privately".

Art. 169.- El que promoviere, facilitare, administrare, financiare, instigare u organizare de cualquier forma la utilización de personas menores de dieciocho años en actos sexuales o eróticos, de manera individual u organizada, de forma pública o privada, será sancionado con pena de tres a ocho años de prisión.

En igual responsabilidad incurrirá quien con conocimiento de causa autorizare el uso o arrendare el inmueble para realizar cualquiera de las actividades descritas en el inciso anterior. [12]

Approximate translation: Article 169 .- Any person who promotes, facilitates, manages, finances, instigates or organizes in any way the use of persons under eighteen years of age in sexual or erotic acts, individually or organized, publicly or privately, shall be punished with penalty of three to eight years in prison.

Similarly, anyone who knowingly authorizes the use or rents a property to perform any of the activities described in the preceding paragraph, incurs criminal liability.

Article 167 makes it illegal to "promote or facilitate the corruption of a person under eighteen (...) through various sexual acts of carnal knowledge, even if the victim consents to participate in them".

CORRUPCIÓN DE MENORES E INCAPACES

Art. 167.- El que promoviere o facilitare la corrupción de una persona menor de dieciocho años de edad o de un deficiente mental, mediante actos sexuales diversos del acceso carnal, aunque la víctima consintiere participar en ellos, será sancionado con prisión de seis a doce años. [13]

Approximate translation: Article 167 .- Any person who promotes or facilitates the corruption of a person under eighteen years of age or a mentally handicapped through various sexual acts of carnal knowledge, even if the victim consents to participate in them, shall be punished with imprisonment of six to twelve years.


Article 171 deals with "obscene exhibition", and also appears to set the age of consent at 18.

EXHIBICIONES OBSCENAS

Art. 171.- El que ejecutare o hiciere ejecutar a otros actos lúbricos o de exhibición obscena, o indecorosa, en lugar público o expuesto al público o bien ante menores de dieciocho años de edad o deficientes mentales, será sancionado con prisión de dos a cuatro años. [14]

Approximate translation: Art. 171. Anyone who performs or makes others perform acts of lewd or lascivious exhibition, or indecency in a public place or a place open to the public or to minors under eighteen years of age or mentally handicapped, shall be punished with imprisonment from two to four years.


Articles 163 and 154 of the Penal Code (Código Penal) deal with estupro and make it illegal to use deception (engaño) or to take advantage of one's superiority (superioridad) which arises from a relationship in order to gain sexual access to teenagers aged between 15 and 18.

ESTUPRO

Art. 163.- El que tuviere acceso carnal por vía vaginal o anal mediante engaño, con persona mayor de quince años y menor de dieciocho años de edad, será sancionado con prisión de cuatro a diez años. [15]

Approximate translation: Art. 163. "Anyone who has vaginal or anal intercourse, by using deception, with a person over fifteen and under eighteen years of age, shall be punished with imprisonment of four to ten years".

ESTUPRO POR PREVALIMIENTO

Art. 164.- El que tuviere acceso carnal por vía vaginal o anal con persona mayor de quince y menor dieciocho años de edad, prevaliéndose de la superioridad originada por cualquier relación, será sancionado con prisión de seis a doce años. [16]

Approximate translation: Art. 164. "Anyone who has vaginal or anal intercourse with a person over fifteen and under eighteen years of age, relying on the superiority arising from any relationship, shall be punished with imprisonment from six to twelve years."

Guatemala

In Guatemala, the age of consent is 18, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender.[citation needed]

Honduras

In Honduras, the age of consent is 15, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender.[17]

Jamaica

In Jamaica the age of consent is 16.

‘Above twelve (12) and under sixteen (16)’, Article 50, " Offences Against the Person "

" Whosoever shall unlawfully and carnally know and abuse any girl being above the age of twelve (12) years and under the age of sixteen (16) years shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and being convicted thereof, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years; [18]

Mexico

In Mexico, the age at which there are no restrictions for consensual sexual activities is 18, while the minimum age of consent varies between 12 and 18, according to state laws. In Mexico, criminal legislation is shared between the federal and state governments. The Federal law establishes the age of 12 as the minimum age at which states can legislate upon; however there may be local state laws that override the federal law. In practice though, the decision as to whether or not to prosecute is left to state authorities regardless of the younger person's age.

Federal Law

Article 261 of the Federal Criminal Code (PDF) states that: ”Whoever, without the purpose of reaching copulation, performs a sexual act in a person under 12 or in a person that has no capacity of understanding the meaning of the act or that for any reason cannot resist, or demands that the act is performed, will be punished with a term of 2 to 5 years in prison”. If the offender uses moral or physical violence, an extra half term is added to the initial time.

Article 266 refers to the previous article 265, which covers the rape of adults in general and establishes a term of 8 to 14 years in prison for sex obtained through physical or moral violence. Article 266 then states that: "It is equivalent to rape and will be punished with the same penalty: (1st Clause) – who without violence performs a copulation with a person under 12”. The 3rd Clause of this article punishes with the same penalties also “the vaginal or anal introduction of objects, without violence and with lascivious goals”, in a person under 12 or in a person that has no capacity of understanding the meaning of the fact, or for any reason cannot resist. If any of the aforementioned acts is performed with physical or moral violence, the sentence is raised in up to a half.

A further article, 266 Bis, determines an extra penalty of up to a half under certain circumstances – (a) when there are multiple offenders; (b) when the offense is committed by a parent, legal guardian, stepfather or “companion” (amasio) of the mother; (c) when there is an abuse of authority of someone as a civil servant; (d) when the crime is committed by a person who has the minor under his or her custody, guard or education, or yet through the abuse of trust.

There is another crime in Article 262 for consented sex with adolescents aged 12 to 18, when consent is obtained through deceit. The penalty is 3 months to 4 years in prison. This crime, however, is only prosecuted through a complaint of the minor or his/her parents or legal guardians, as determined in Article 263.

Further reading:

Local laws

The age of consent is:

All Mexican states (as well as Mexico City) have Corruption of Minors statutes that can, upon complaint of the family (or minor), be used to punish sexual relations with persons under eighteen. It should be noted that while actual prosecutions for violations of Corruption of Minors statutes (and age of consent statutes in general) tend to be sporadic, regional, and very situation dependent, many Mexican states nonetheless classify Corruption of Minors as a "Delito Grave" (Grave Crime) in their penal codes.

Additionally, all the states have "Estupro" laws that can, upon complaint of the family (or minor female), be used to prosecute adults who engage in sexual intercourse with "chaste" and "honest" females under eighteen by means of "seduction" or deceit (such as the false promise of marriage).

In some Mexican jurisdictions prosecutors have chosen to prosecute consensual sexual activity involving adults and underage minors only upon custodial complaint.

Federal District

The age of consent in the Federal District (Mexico City) is 12, one of the lowest in the world, and the overall criminal legislation of Mexico’s capital is close to that of the federal law regarding this subject, although tougher in some aspects – higher penalties and broader definitions.

According to the Estatuto del Gobierno del Distrito Federal (PDF)(in Spanish) (Government Statute of the Federal District), Article 42, Clause XII, the District’s Legislative Assembly has powers to legislate in criminal law.

Article 175 of the Federal District Criminal Code refers to the previous Article 174, which stipulates a term of 6 to 17 years of prison for the rape of adults, while defining copulation as “the introduction of the penis in the human body through the vagina, anus or mouth”. Article 175 (violación) then states that: "It is equivalent to rape and will be punished with the same penalty: (1st Clause) – who performs a copulation with a person under 12 years of age or with a person that has no capacity of understanding the meaning of the act or that for any reason cannot resist”; The 2nd Clause defines as committing the same crime whoever “introduces in the vagina or anus any element, instrument or any part of the human body different from the penis”, in relation to these same persons.

Article 177 covers “sexual abuse” and punishes other acts referred as “unintentional” acts –“who without purpose of reaching copulation, performs a sexual act with a person under 12 or a person that has no capacity of understanding the meaning of the act or that for any reason cannot resist it, or that demands that such act is observed or performed, will be punished with 2 to 7 years in prison”.

In both Articles (175 and 177), there is an extra half term in case of physical or moral violence. And according to Article 178, there is also a punishment of an extra two thirds of the term under the same circumstances foreseen in Article 266 Bis of the Federal Law (see above), added by two new circumstances – (clause V) when the victim is inside a private vehicle or a public service vehicle; and (clause VI) when the crime is committed in a desert or isolated place.

There is a crime called estupro stipulated in Article 180, which refers to consented sex with adolescents aged 12 to 18, when consent is obtained through any means of deceit. The penalty is 6 months to 4 years of prison. This crime needs a complaint (querella) to be prosecuted.

There is a Corruption of Minors statute (Article 184) that can be used to punish by imprisonment, for seven to twelve years, adults who engage in sexual relations with persons under eighteen. This situation exists all over Mexico, and can be prosecuted upon complaint of the family or the child.

Nicaragua

In Nicaragua, the age of consent in Nicaragua is 18, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender.[citation needed]

Panama

In Panama, the age of consent appears to be 18.

  • Laws regarding children aged between 14 and 18:

Article 215 appears to prohibit sexual acts with minors:

Article 215 C: “He who maltreats a minor shall be sanctioned with imprisonment from one to six years. The following conducts typify maltreatment of minors: (...) 2) Committing, inducing or helping to commit sexual abuse against him, or other lustful or lewd acts, even though they do not imply carnal access (...)

Article 226 deals with the "corruption" of minors and prohibits sexual acts with children younger than 18 (although it is not clear if this article prohibits such sex acts per se, or only if the child was "corrupted"):

"Article 226: “He who corrupts or facilitates the corruption of a person under 18 years of age, practicing with her a lewd act or inducing her to practice or view it, shall be sanctioned with imprisonment of two to four years”.

Another article, Article 219, prohibits consensual sex acts with a "maiden woman, over 14 years old and under 18" (probably understood to mean a virgin girl aged 14-18):

Article 219: “He who has carnal access to a maiden woman, over 14 years old and under 18, with her consent, shall be sanctioned with prison of one to three years. If a marriage promise is involved, or if the deed is committed by a relative, a minister of a cult that the victim professes, a tutor, teacher or person in charge, by means of any title, of the education, safe keeping or upbringing of the victim, the penalty can be increased up to twice the amount”.

In regard to the Article 219, the action or penalty is to be extinguished if the author and the assaulted person are to be married, this is stipulated by Article 225.

  • Laws regarding children younger than 14:

Article 216: “He who has sexual access with persons of either sex, utilizing his genital organs or other parts of his body, or introducing any object in the genitals, mouth or anus of the victim, shall be sanctioned with imprisonment from three to ten years in the following cases: 1) When violence or intimidation is used; 2) When the assaulted person is deprived of reason or of sense or when due to physical or mental sickness or for any other cause she cannot resist; 3) When the victim is arrested or imprisoned and entrusted to the guilty party to supervise her or take her from one place to another; and 4) With a person of either sex that is not 14 years old, even though none of the circumstances expressed previously apply.

Article 220: “He who with the purpose of achieving carnal access executes libidinous acts in prejudice of a person of either sex, by means of violence or intimidation, or when the victim is not 14 years old or cannot resist, shall be sanctioned with imprisonment of three to six years. The sanction can be increased by one third to half, if any one of the circumstances established in the second paragraph or Article 219 occur.”

United States

The United States of America is a federal republic where the age of consent laws are made at the state level. There exist several federal statutes related to protecting children from sexual predators, but none of them imposes an age limit on sexual acts. On 26 June 2003, both heterosexual and homosexual sodomy became legal in all US states and territories under a US Supreme Court decision called Lawrence v. Texas [19] (between non-commercial, consenting adults in a private bedroom). In Limon v. Kansas (2005), the Kansas Supreme Court used Lawrence as a precedent to overturn the state's "Romeo and Juliet" law, which proscribed lesser penalties for heterosexuals than homosexuals convicted of similar age of consent related offenses.[20] There is ongoing advocacy for a uniform age of consent. One proposal would make the national age of consent 18. If a state has an age of consent below the federal limit, 10% of federal education funds would be withheld. Thus far, Congress has not considered this or any other proposal to change the status quo. However there is a common misconception among many Americans that there is a federal limit at 18, but that is false, as the age limit in most states is in fact below 18. Some speculate that this is due to the production of most American television media being in southern California, so writers, and thus viewers, would be primarily familiar with only southern California's penal code.[21]

Federal laws

{Chapter 117, 18 U.S.C. 2422(b)} forbids the use of the United States Postal Service or other interstate or foreign means of communication, such as telephone calls or use of the internet, to persuade or entice a minor (defined as under 18 throughout chapter) to be involved in a criminal sexual act. The act has to be illegal under state or federal law to be charged with a crime under 2422(b), and can even be applied to situations where both parties reside within the same state but use an instant messenger program whose servers are located in another state.[22]

{Chapter 117, 18 U.S.C. 2423(a)} forbids transporting a minor (defined as under 18) in interstate or foreign commerce with the intent of engaging in criminal sexual acts in which a person can be charged. This subsection is ambiguous on its face, and only seems to apply when the minor is transported across state or international lines to a place where the conduct is already illegal to begin with. The United States Department of Justice seems to agree with this interpretation.

{Chapter 117, 18 U.S.C. 2423(b)} forbids traveling in interstate or foreign commerce to engage in "illicit sexual conduct" with a minor. 2423(f) refers to Chapter 109A as its bright line for defining "illicit sexual conduct", as far as non-commercial sexual activity is concerned. For the purposes of age of consent, the only provision applicable is {Chapter 109A, 18 U.S.C. 2243(a)}. 2243(a) refers to situations where such younger person is under the age of 16 years, has attained 12 years of age, and the older person is more than 4 years older than the 12-to-15-year-old (persons under 12 are handled under 18 U.S.C. 2241(c) under aggravated sexual abuse). So, the age is 12 years if one is within 4 years of the 12-to-15-year-old's age, 16 under all other circumstances. This most likely reflects Congressional intent to not unduly interfere with a state's age of consent law, which would have been the case if the age was set to 18 under all circumstances. This law is also extraterritorial in nature to U.S. Citizens and Residents who travel outside of the United States.

Although legislation tends to reflect general societal attitudes regarding male versus female ages of consent, Richard Posner notes in his Guide to America's Sex Laws;

"The U.S. Supreme Court has held that stricter rules for males do not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution, on the theory that men lack the disincentives (associated with pregnancy) that women have, to engage in sexual activity, and the law may thus provide men with those disincentives in the form of criminal sanctions."[23]

The Assimilative Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. § 13) incorporates local state criminal law when on federal reservations such as Bureau of Land Management property, military posts and shipyards, national parks, national forests, inter alia. Consequently, if the relevant state's age of consent is higher than the federal age of consent, the higher age applies.

Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (10 U.S.C. § 920) - to which essentially only members of the United States Armed Services and enemy prisoners of war are subject - defines the age of consent as sixteen years in subsection, but requires evidence of force or coersion concerning victims between the ages of twelve and sixteen years. The victim's age being under sixteen years is also an aggravating factor invoking harsher punishment under both Articles 120 and 125 (Sodomy, 10 U.S.C. § 925). Within the United States, United States servicemembers are further subject to the local state law both when off-post. The local state law is incorporated, for the most part, into federal law when on-post per the Assimilative Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. § 13). Depending upon the relevant status of forces agreement, United States servicemembers are also subject to the local criminal laws of the host nation for acts committed off-post.

State laws

Each US state has its own age of consent. Currently state laws set the age of consent at 16, 17 or 18. The most common age is 16.[24]

  • age of consent 16: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia
  • age of consent 17: Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Texas
  • age of consent 18: Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

These state laws are discussed in detail below.

Alabama

The age of consent in Alabama is 16.

Shown by articles of the Code of Alabama:

13A-6-70: (c) A person is deemed incapable of consent if he is: (1) Less than 16 years old...

13A-6-67 : (a) A person commits the crime of sexual abuse in the second degree if: ...
(2) He, being 19 years old or older, subjects another person to sexual contact who is less than 16 years old, but more than 12 years old.

13A-6-62 (a) A person commits the crime of rape in the second degree if: ...
(1) Being 16 years old or older, he or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex less than 16 and more than 12 years old; provided, however, the actor is at least two years older than the member of the opposite sex.

13A-6-64 : (a) A person commits the crime of sodomy in the second degree if: ...
(1) He, being 16 years old or older, engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another person less than 16 and more than 12 years old.

Alaska

The age of consent is 16, provided the older partner is not in a position of authority.

Alaska Statutes - Title 11. Criminal Law - Chapter 41. Offenses Against the Person - Sexual Abuse of a Minor
Section 436 in the First Degree (Unclassified Felony) ; Section 436 in the Second Degree (Class B Felony) ;
Section 438 in the Third Degree (Class C Felony) ; Section 440 : in the Fourth Degree (Class A misdemeanor)

AS 11.41.436. Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the Second Degree.

(a) An offender commits the crime of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree if (1) being 16 years of age or older, the offender engages in sexual penetration with a person who is 13, 14, or 15 years of age and at least three years younger than the offender, or aids, induces, causes or encourages a person who is 13, 14, or 15 years of age and at least three years younger than the offender to engage in sexual penetration with another person...

Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the .... :

  • Younger minor under 13 + Elder minor under 16 ( more than 3 years between them ) :
    • Sexual contact = 4th Degree & Sexual penetration = 3rd Degree
  • Younger minor under 13 + Elder minor above 16 :
    • pornography = 2nd Degree ( younger under 16 vs. elder above 16 )
    • Sexual contact = 2nd Degree ( for elder minor oneself or if (s)he helps another person)
    • Sexual penetration = 1st Degree ( for elder minor oneself or if (s)he helps another person)
  • Younger minor aged 13, 14 or 15 + Elder minor above 16 ( more than 3 years between them ) :
    • Sexual contact = 3rd Degree
    • Sexual penetration = 2nd Degree ( for elder minor oneself or if (s)he helps another person)
    • pornography = 2nd Degree ( younger under 16 vs. elder above 16 )
  • Minor under 16 + partner above 18 (civil majority) if cohabitant with authority or position of authority :
    • Sexual contact = 2nd Degree & Sexual penetration = 1st Degree.
  • Minor under 18 + parent or guardian above 18  :
    • Sexual contact = 2nd Degree & Sexual penetration = 1st Degree

Indecent Exposure :

    • with masturbation, in front of minor under 16 = Indecent Exposure in the 1st Degree (Class C Felony)
    • simply, in front of minor under 16 = Indecent Exposure in the 2nd Degree (Class A misdemeanor)
    • simply, in front of above 16 = Indecent Exposure in the 2nd Degree (Class B misdemeanor).

Arizona

The age of consent in Arizona is 18. However there exist in the legislation defenses to prosecution if the defendant is close in age to the "victim" or a spouse of the "victim". Note: these are not close in age exceptions but defenses at court. Arizona Revised Statute 13-1405(A)

13-1407 (Defenses)

  • B. It is a defense to a prosecution pursuant to sections 13-1404 and 13-1405 in which the victim's lack of consent is based on incapacity to consent because the victim was fifteen, sixteen or seventeen years of age if at the time the defendant engaged in the conduct constituting the offence the defendant did not know and could not reasonably have known the age of the victim.
  • D. It is a defense to a prosecution pursuant to section 13-1404 or 13-1405 that the person was the spouse (legally married AND cohabiting) of the other person at the time of commission of the act...
  • F. It is a defense to a prosecution pursuant to section 13-1405 if the victim is fifteen, sixteen or seventeen years of age, the defendant is under nineteen years of age or attending high school and is no more than twenty-four months older than the victim and the conduct is consensual.

Arkansas

The age of consent is 16, with some close in age exemptions.

Details: The age is minimum 16 for a minor (<18) with a major more than 20 years old. Under 18, the younger must not be less than 14, or if so, there is a defense if the minor is not more 4 years younger if above 12, not more 3 years younger if under 12. Sexual intercourse of a major and a minor under 14 is a rape.

Arkansas Code - Title 5. Criminal Offenses - Chapter 14. Sexual Offenses. Sections 5-14-

103, 124, 125, 126, 127

5-14-127. A person commits sexual assault in the fourth degree if the person: (a)

  • (1) Being twenty (20) years of age or older, engages in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual activity with another person who is:
    • (A) Less than sixteen (16) years of age; and (B) Not the person's spouse; or
  • (2) Engages in sexual contact with another person who is:
    • (A) Less than sixteen (16) years of age; and (B) Not the person's spouse.

(b)

  • (1) Sexual assault in the fourth degree under subdivision (a)(1) of this section is a Class D felony.
  • (2) Sexual assault in the fourth degree under subdivision (a)(2) of this section is a Class A misdemeanor if the person engages only in sexual contact with another person as described in subdivision (a)(2) of this section.

California

The age of consent is 18, with a misdemeanor if the minor has 3 or fewer years of difference with the major, and potentially a felony if the major is more than 3 years older. It is worth emphasizing that unlike most other states, the close-in-age rule in California (3 years) do not provide an exception nor provide any defense; it merely lowers the crime to a misdemeanor. Under this law, two minors of the exact same age could both be prosecuted. Penalties increase if the minor is under 16 and the major is above 21 or if the minor is more than 3 years younger.

Texts :

  • California Penal Code - Part 1. of crimes and punishments -
    • Title 9. of crimes against the person involving sexual assault, and crimes against public decency and good morals
      • Chapter 1. Rape, abduction, carnal abuse of children, and seduction. - Section 261.5.
        • (a) Unlawful sexual intercourse is an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person who is not the spouse of the perpetrator, if the person is a minor. For the purposes of this section, a "minor" is a person under the age of 18 years and an "adult" is a person who is at least 18 years of age and older.
        • (b) Any person who engages in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who is not more than three years older or three years younger than the perpetrator, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
        • (c) Any person who engages in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who is more than three years younger than the perpetrator is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony, and shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison.
        • (d) Any person 21 years of age or older who engages in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who is under 16 years of age is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony, and shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years.

Colorado

The age of consent in Colorado is 17, however there exists in the legislation close in age exceptions which allow those aged 15 and 16 to engage in acts with those less than ten years older and those less than 15 to engage in acts with those less than four years older. However a 17-year-old can not legally consent to person that is in position of trust.

18-3-402(1) Any actor who knowingly inflicts sexual intrusion or sexual penetration on a victim commits sexual assault if: (d) At the time of the commission of the act, the victim is less than fifteen years of age and the actor is at least four years older than the victim and is not the spouse of the victim; or (e) At the time of the commission of the act, the victim is at least fifteen years of age but less than seventeen years of age and the actor is at least ten years older than the victim and is not the spouse of the victim;

Colorado Revised Statutes website

Connecticut

The age of consent is 16. Between 13 and 16, it is a positive defense against the sexual encounter, if the age difference is less than 3 years.
But if the actor of abuse has authority or influence (and is above 20), the consent age is 18.
For most offenses, there is a worse felony or misdemeanor classification if the minor is under 16.

General statutes of Connecticut - Title 53a. Penal code - Chapter 952. Offenses. - Sections 53a-70 to 53a-73a.

Sec. 53a-71. Sexual assault in the second degree: Class C or B felony. [21] (a) A person is guilty of sexual assault in the second degree when such person engages in sexual intercourse with another person and: (1) Such other person is thirteen years of age or older but under sixteen years of age and the actor is more than three years older than such person;'

Section 53a-73a. Sexual assault in the fourth degree: Class A misdemeanor or class D felony.
(a) A person is guilty of sexual assault in the fourth degree when: ...(6) such person is a school employee and subjects another person to sexual contact who is a student enrolled in a school in which the actor works or a school under the jurisdiction of the local or regional board of education which employs the actor;
or (7) such person is a coach in an athletic activity or a person who provides intensive, ongoing instruction and subjects another person to sexual contact who is a recipient of coaching or instruction from the actor and (A) is a secondary school student and receives such coaching or instruction in a secondary school setting,or (B) is under eighteen years of age;
or (8) such person subjects another person to sexual contact and (A) the actor is twenty years of age or older and stands in a position of power, authority or supervision over such other person by virtue of the actor's professional, legal, occupational or volunteer status and such other person's participation in a program or activity, and (B) such other person is under eighteen years of age.

Delaware

The age of consent in Delaware is 18, but it is legal for teenagers aged 16 and 17 to engage in sexual intercourse as long as the older partner is younger than 30.

Title 11 § 761. Definitions generally applicable to sexual offences. (j) A child who has not yet reached his or her sixteenth birthday is deemed unable to consent to a sexual act with a person more than 4 years older than said child. Children who have not yet reached their twelfth birthday are deemed unable to consent to a sexual act under any circumstances. Crimes and Criminal Procedure, Delaware Criminal Code

§ 770. Rape in the fourth degree; class C felony. (a) A person is guilty of rape in the fourth degree when the person:...2) Intentionally engages in sexual intercourse with another person, and the victim has not yet reached that victim's eighteenth birthday, and the person is 30 years of age or older, except that such intercourse shall not be unlawful if the victim and person are married at the time of such intercourse.

District of Columbia

The age of consent in the District of Columbia is 16 with a close in age exemption for those within four years of age.[25]

Florida

The age of consent in Florida is 18, but close in age exemptions exist. By law, the exception permits a person 23 years of age or younger to engage in legal sexual activity with a minor aged 16 or 17.

794.05 Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors.-- (1) A person 24 years of age or older who engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years of age commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. As used in this section, "sexual activity" means oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another; however, sexual activity does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose Florida code, Title XLVI, Chapter 794

Georgia

The age of consent in Georgia is 16 as specified by Section 16.6.3 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

Also stated in the Criminal Code of Georgia 16.6.3 subsection (c), if a person is "at least 14 but less than 16 years of age and the person convicted of statutory rape is 18 years of age or younger and is no more than four years older than the victim, such person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor."

Hawaii

Idaho

The age of consent in Idaho is 18.

18-1508A. SEXUAL BATTERY OF A MINOR CHILD SIXTEEN OR SEVENTEEN YEARS OF AGE - PENALTY. (1)It is a felony for any person at least five (5) years of age older than a minor child who is sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) years of age, who, with the intent of arousing, appealing to or gratifying the lust, passion, or sexual desires of such person, minor child, or third party, to: (a) Commit any lewd or lascivious act or acts upon or with the body or any part or any member thereof of such minor child including, but not limited to, genital-genital contact, oral-genital contact, anal-genital contact, oral-anal contact, manual-anal contact or manual-genital contact, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex, or who shall involve such minor child in any act of explicit sexual conduct as defined in section 18-1507, Idaho Code...

Also, Idaho law considers any sexual intercourse between an adult man and a girl younger than 18 to be rape:

18-6101. RAPE DEFINED. Rape is defined as the penetration, however slight, of the oral, anal or vaginal opening with the perpetrator's penis accomplished with a female under any one (1) of the following circumstances: 1. Where the female is under the age of eighteen (18) years...

Illinois

The age of consent in Illinois is 17. It is also illegal for a person to commit sexual acts on a person under the age of 18 if he/she has a position of authority or trust over the victim.

(720 ILCS 5/12-15) Sec. 12-15. Criminal sexual abuse. ...(c) The accused commits criminal sexual abuse if he or she commits an act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct with a victim who was at least 13 years of age but under 17 years of age and the accused was less than 5 years older than the victim.

Sec. 12-16. Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse. ...(d) The accused commits aggravated criminal sexual abuse if he or she commits an act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct with a victim who was at least 13 years of age but under 17 years of age and the accused was at least 5 years older than the victim.

Indiana

The age of consent in Indiana is 16.

IC 35-42-4-9 Sexual misconduct with a minor Sec. 9. (a) A person at least eighteen (18) years of age who, with a child at least fourteen (14) years of age but less than sixteen (16) years of age, performs or submits to sexual intercourse or deviate sexual conduct commits sexual misconduct with a minor, a Class C felony. However, the offense is: (1) a Class B felony if it is committed by a person at least twenty-one (21) years of age...

Iowa

The age of consent in Iowa is 16, with a close in age exemption for those aged 14 and 15, who may engage in sexual acts with partners less than 4 years older.

Section 709.4 states: A person commits sexual abuse in the third degree when the person performs a sex act under any of the following circumstances... 2(c) The other person is fourteen or fifteen years of age and any of the following are true...(4) The person is four or more years older than the other person.

Section 709.15 forbids, amongst other things, sexual contact between a school employee and a "...person who is currently enrolled in or attending a public or nonpublic elementary or secondary school, or who was a student enrolled in or who attended a public or nonpublic elementary or secondary school within thirty days of any violation..." There exist similar laws for those who provide or purport to provide mental health services {§709.15}, officers in charge of offenders and juveniles {§709.16}.

Iowa's "banishment law"

Iowa Code lookup. Iowa: further reading:

Kansas

The age of consent in Kansas is 16. K.S.A. 21-3503, 21-3504, 21-3505 and 21-3522 prohibit sexual activity with minors aged 14 and 15.

21-3504. Aggravated indecent liberties with a child. (a) Aggravated indecent liberties with a child is: (1) Sexual intercourse with a child who is 14 or more years of age but less than 16 years of age.

Kentucky

The age of consent in Kentucky is 16. Section 510.020 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes deems a person unable to consent if he or she is less than 16 years old. It is a defense however if the "victim" is at least 14 and the actor is less than 5 years older {510.130(b)}.

Additionally, under 510.120(d) it is "sexual abuse in the second degree," a Class A misdemeanor, for a person over 21 to have sex with anyone under 18 for whom he or she provides a foster home.

Louisiana

The age of consent in Louisiana is 17.

§80. Felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile A. Felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile is committed when: (1) A person who is nineteen years of age or older has sexual intercourse, with consent, with a person who is twelve years of age or older but less than seventeen years of age, when the victim is not the spouse of the offender; or...

§80.1. Misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a juvenile A. Misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a juvenile is committed when a person who is seventeen years of age or older but less than nineteen years of age has sexual intercourse, with consent, with a person who is fifteen years of age or older but less than seventeen years of age, when the victim is not the spouse of the offender, and when the difference between the age of the victim and age of the offender is greater than two years.

Maine

The age of consent in Maine is 16. Teenagers aged 14 and 15 may engage in sexual intercourse with partners who are less than 5 years older.

§254. Sexual abuse of minors 1. A person is guilty of sexual abuse of a minor if: A. The person engages in a sexual act with another person, not the actor's spouse, who is either 14 or 15 years of age and the actor is at least 5 years older than the other person.

Maryland

The age of consent in Maryland is 16. An exception is made when the actor is less than four years older than the victim.

  • If the victim is 14 or 15 and actor 21 or older, the actor is guilty of a sexual offense in the third degree if they engage in vaginal intercourse or other sex acts (including oral sex). If the actor is under 21 years old, but still more than 4 years older, the crime is lowered to sexual offense in the fourth degree.
  • If the victim is 13 or younger and the actor more than 4 years older, and they engage in a sex act (which includes oral, and other acts but not intercourse) they are guilty of a sexual offense in the second degree. If they engage in vaginal intercourse, the crime is elevated to rape in the second degree.

One notable exception is if someone in a "position of authority" engages in a sexual act with a minor (defined as under the age of 18 in state law), he or she may be guilty of sexual offense in the fourth degree as specified by Maryland Code § 3-308.

Another unusual exception is the crime of "Sexual solicitation of minor." (§ 3-324). In this law, it is illegal to solicit a person under 18 (or a law enforcement officer posing as such) via various communication methods to violate the aforementioned statutes on minimum age, or for purposes of prostitution. In the case of the later, the minor can be 16 or 17 (over the age of consent) but the actor would still be in violation of this statute.

Massachusetts

The age of consent in Massachusetts is 16, as specified by Chapter 265, Section 23 of the General Laws of Massachusetts, which states:

"Whoever unlawfully has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse, and abuses a child under sixteen years of age shall... be punished..." MGL 265-23

However, Chapter 272, Section 4 sets another age of consent at 18 when the "victim" is "of chaste life" and the perpetrator induces them.

"Whoever induces any person under 18 years of age of chaste life to have unlawful sexual intercourse shall be punished." MGL 272-4

Michigan

The age of consent in Michigan is 16, unless one is an authority figure in which case the age of consent is 18.

750.520d Criminal sexual conduct in the third degree; felony. Sec. 520d. (1) A person is guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree if the person engages in sexual penetration with another person and if any of the following circumstances exist: (a) That other person is at least 13 years of age and under 16 years of age...

Minnesota

The age of consent in Minnesota is 16.

If the actor is in a position of authority, the age of consent is 18. If the victim is under the age of 13 the actor must be no more than 36 months older. If the victim is 13, 14 or 15 the actor must be no more than 48 months older. The specifics of these laws are covered under Sections 609.34x of the Minnesota Criminal Code. Specifically sections 609.341 Definitions, 609.342 Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree, 609.343 Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree, 609.344 Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Third Degree, 609.345 Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fourth Degree, 609.3451 Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fifth Degree, and 609.349 Voluntary Relationships.[26]

Mississippi

The age of consent in Mississippi is 16.[27]

§ 97-3-65. Statutory rape; enhanced penalty for forcible sexual intercourse or statutory rape by administering certain substances.

(1)The crime of statutory rape is committed when:

(a) Any person seventeen (17) years of age or older has sexual intercourse with a child who:

(i) Is at least fourteen (14) but under sixteen (16) years of age;

(ii) Is thirty-six (36) or more months younger than the person; and

(iii) Is not the person's spouse


§ 97-3-95. Sexual battery.

(1) A person is guilty of sexual battery if he or she engages in sexual penetration with:...(c) A child at least fourteen (14) but under sixteen (16) years of age, if the person is thirty-six (36) or more months older than the child...

Missouri

The age of consent in Missouri is 17.

Mistake as to the age of the victim may be a defense in some circumstances as defined in RSMo 566.020.

Statutory rape and sodomy, RSMo §§ 566.032 and 566.062 involve a child less than 14 years of age. Statutory rape and sodomy in the second degree, RSMo §§ 566.034 and 566.064 involve a child less than 17 years of age and an accused who is 21 years of age or older. The crime of Child molestation in the second degree, RSMo § 566.068 , occurs when a child less than 17 years of age is subject to "sexual contact".

The distinction among those crimes has led some to the false conclusion that Missouri has a close in age exception. Missouri has no such exception beyond the degree of crime committed.

While the statutory titles are cast in terms of Rape and Sodomy, the statutes prohibit conduct that is described as "sexual intercourse" and "deviant sexual intercourse". Those terms are defined in RSMo § 566.010.

Statutory rape, second degree, penalty. 566.034. 1. A person commits the crime of statutory rape in the second degree if being twenty-one years of age or older, he has sexual intercourse with another person who is less than seventeen years of age.

Statutory sodomy, second degree, penalty. 566.064. 1. A person commits the crime of statutory sodomy in the second degree if being twenty-one years of age or older, he has deviate sexual intercourse with another person who is less than seventeen years of age.

Child molestation, second degree, penalties. 566.068. 1. A person commits the crime of child molestation in the second degree if he or she subjects another person who is less than seventeen years of age to sexual contact.

Montana

The age of consent in Montana is 16. [22]

Nebraska

The age of consent in Nebraska is 17.

Section 28-319 Sexual assault; first degree; penalty. (1) Any person who subjects another person to sexual penetration...(c) when the actor is nineteen years of age or older and the victim is at least twelve but less than sixteen years of age is guilty of sexual assault in the first degree.

Debauching a minor; penalty. (1) Any person not a minor commits the offense of debauching a minor if he or she shall debauch or deprave the morals of any boy or girl under the age of seventeen years by: (a) Lewdly inducing such boy or girl carnally to know any other person...

Nevada

The age of consent in Nevada is 16.

NRS 200.364 Definitions. As used in NRS 200.364 to 200.3774, inclusive, unless the context otherwise requires: ... 3.“Statutory sexual seduction” means: (a) Ordinary sexual intercourse, anal intercourse, cunnilingus or fellatio committed by a person 18 years of age or older with a person under the age of 16 years; or (b) Any other sexual penetration committed by a person 18 years of age or older with a person under the age of 16 years with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of either of the persons.

New Hampshire

The age of consent in New Hampshire is 16. However a close in age exception exists where a person may "engage in sexual penetration" with a person older than 13 but younger than 16, but only if their age difference is three years or less. However if the partner is acting "in loco parentis", e.g. as a teacher or a guardian, the minimum age is 18. NH Criminal code Section 632-A:3 and Section 632-A:2

New Jersey

The age of consent in New Jersey is 16. However, minors aged 13, 14 and 15 may legally engage in sexual activities with persons up to 4 years older than them. For example, it is lawful for a 14-year-old male or female to engage in sex with a person up to 18 years of age. This also applies for 13-year-olds (up to 17), etc.[28]

2C:14-2. Sexual assault... c. An actor is guilty of sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual penetration with another person under any one of the following circumstances:... (4) The victim is at least 13 but less than 16 years old and the actor is at least four years older than the victim.

New Mexico

The age of consent in New Mexico is 16.

30-9-11. Criminal sexual penetration... F.Criminal sexual penetration in the fourth degree consists of all criminal sexual penetration: (1)not defined in Subsections C through E of this section perpetrated on a child thirteen to sixteen years of age when the perpetrator is at least eighteen years of age and is at least four years older than the child and not the spouse of that child;

New York

The age of consent in New York is 17.

The offense will be more serious depending on relative ages, thus:

  • Sex with a person under 17 is a misdemeanor if the perpetrator is at least 16 (see infra). (“Sexual misconduct,” NY Penal Law § 130.20.)
  • Sex with a person under 17 is a Class “E” felony if the perpetrator is at least 21. (“Rape in the third degree,” NY Penal Law § 130.25; “Criminal sexual act in the third degree,” NY Penal Law § 130.40.)
  • Sex with a person under 15 is a Class “D” violent felony if the perpetrator is at least 18. However, it is a defense to this charge if an 18 year-old perpetrator proves by a preponderance that he or she was less than four years older than the victim. This is not a defense to any other charge that might apply, i.e., Sexual misconduct, supra. (“Rape in the second degree,” NY Penal Law § 130.30; “Criminal sexual act in the second degree,” NY Penal Law § 130.45.)
  • Sex with a person under 13 is a Class “B” violent felony if the perpetrator is at least 18. (“Rape in the first degree,” NY Penal Law § 130.35[4]; “Criminal sexual act in the first degree,” NY Penal Law § 130.50[4].)
  • Sex with a person under 11 is a Class “B” violent felony if the perpetrator is at least 16. (“Rape in the first degree,” NY Penal Law § 130.35[3]; “Criminal sexual act in the first degree,” NY Penal Law § 130.50[3].)

"Sex," as used above, refers to the four conspicuous types of sexual acts, including "sexual intercourse", and the three forms of acts known as "deviant sexual intercourse" under the former (pre-2003) law, now called "oral sexual conduct" (both types), and "anal sexual conduct."

Non-intercourse sexual activity is also regulated based on age. Non-intercourse sexual activity, called "sexual contact" is defined as "any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person not married to the actor for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire of either party. It includes the touching of the actor by the victim, as well as the touching of the victim by the actor, whether directly or through clothing." (NY Penal Law § 130.00[3].) If the person is underage such "sexual contact" can constitute the crime of "sexual abuse."

  • "Sexual contact" with a person less than 17 but at least 14, by a perpetrator who is at least five years older than the victim is "Sexual abuse in the third degree," a class B misdemeanor. (NY Penal Law § 130.55.)
  • "Sexual contact" with a person less than 14 is "Sexual abuse in the second degree," a Class A misdemeanor, if the perpetrator is at least 16. (NY Penal Law § 130.60[2].)
  • "Sexual contact" with a person less than 11 is "Sexual abuse in the first degree," a class "D" violent felony, if the perpetrator is at least 16. (NY Penal Law § 130.65[3].)
Certain defenses

It is not a defense that the perpetrator believed the victim was older than is later proven. (NY Penal Law § 15.20[3]).

Legally recognized marriage is a defense. (NY Penal Law § 130.10[4].)

The ONLY minimum age for a perpetrator of first degree rape/criminal sexual act with a victim under 11 (NY Penal Law §§ 130.35[3] & 130.35[3]), sexual abuse in the first and second degrees (NY Penal Law §§ 130.65[3] & 130.60[2]), and misdemeanor Sexual misconduct (NY Penal Law § 130.20) is provided by the defense of infancy found at NY Penal Law § 30.00(1). That age is 16 years old. Someone under that age may be adjudicated a juvenile delinquent, but may not commit these crimes. On the other hand, someone who is 16 years old commits a crime by voluntarily having sex with anyone who cannot themselves legally consent to sex, including another 16-year-old, even if this "victim" is actually older. (People v. Bowman, 88 Misc. 2d 50; 387 N.Y.S.2d 982 [City Crim. Ct. 1976]; Matter of Jessie C., 164 A.D.2d 731; 565 N.Y.S.2d 941 [4 Dept., 1991].) In effect, mutual crimes are committed when two unmarried 16-year-old individuals voluntarily have sex with each other in New York State, each being the "victim" of the other.

Other crimes

Depending on how the statute is construed, "Predatory sexual assault against a child," a class A-II felony, may subsume all instances of "statutory" first degree rape/criminal sexual act where the victim is under 13 (NY Penal Law §§ 130.35[4], 130.35[4]) and the perpetrator over 18. (NY Penal Law § 130.96.)

There are other special offenses, namely "Course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree" and "Course of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree" that punish sex with an underage person combined with an additional illegal sexual act during wide time period. These do not subject a person to more punishment than the crimes listed above, but only provide a gimmick for prosecutors to avoid the requirement that an individual sex act be specified in a rape indictment. (See, People v. Beauchamp, 74 N.Y.2d 639; 539 N.E.2d 1105 [1989].)

(Note that "violent felonies" are specified by NY Penal Law § 70.02. Actual "violence" is irrelevant.)

New York Penal Law Article 130

North Carolina

The age of consent in North Carolina is 16, though no school faculty member can have any sexual activity with any student except when married to the person {§14‑27.7}. Any sexual intercourse with a person under 16 years of age is prohibited unless the defendant is less than 3 years older than the victim except when married to the person {§14‑27.2, 14‑27.4 & 14‑27.7A}.

§ 14‑27.7A. Statutory rape or sexual offense of person who is 13, 14, or 15 years old.

(a) A defendant is guilty of a Class B1 felony if the defendant engages in vaginal intercourse or a sexual act with another person who is 13, 14, or 15 years old and the defendant is at least six years older than the person, except when the defendant is lawfully married to the person.

(b) A defendant is guilty of a Class C felony if the defendant engages in vaginal intercourse or a sexual act with another person who is 13, 14, or 15 years old and the defendant is more than three but less than six years older than the person, except when the defendant is lawfully married to the person.

North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 14

North Dakota

The age of consent in North Dakota is 18.

12.1-20-03. Gross sexual imposition - Penalty.

1.A person who engages in a sexual act with another, or who causes another to engage in a sexual act, is guilty of an offense if...d.The victim is less than fifteen years old

Section 12.1-20-05 of the code refers to sexual acts between adults and teenagers aged 15, 16 and 17:

12.1-20-05.Corruption or solicitation of minors.

  1. An adult who engages in, solicits with the intent to engage in, or causes another to engage in a sexual act with a minor, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if the victim is a minor fifteen years of age or older.
  2. An adult who solicits with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor under age fifteen or engages in or causes another to engage in a sexual act when the adult is at least twenty-two years of age and the victim is a minor fifteen years of age or older, is guilty of a class C felony.

Ohio

The age of consent in Ohio is 16 as specified by Section 2907.04 of Ohio legislation. However there exists a close in age exception where an offender can be charged only if 18 years of age or older. However in that case, it is possible for both minors to be charged as "unruly" if brought to court {§ 2151.022}.

2907.04 Unlawful sexual conduct with minor.
(A) No person who is eighteen years of age or older shall engage in sexual conduct with another, who is not the spouse of the offender, when the offender knows the other person is thirteen years of age or older but less than sixteen years of age, or the offender is reckless in that regard. {§ 2907.04}.

Oklahoma

The age of consent in Oklahoma is 16.

§21-1111. Rape defined. A. Rape is an act of sexual intercourse involving vaginal or anal penetration accomplished with a male or female who is not the spouse of the perpetrator and who may be of the same or the opposite sex as the perpetrator under any of the following circumstances: 1. Where the victim is under sixteen (16) years of age...

There exists, however, a close in age exemption:

§21‑1112. Age limitation on conviction for rape.

No person can be convicted of rape or rape by instrumentation on account of an act of sexual intercourse with anyone over the age of fourteen (14) years, with his or her consent, unless such person was over the age of eighteen (18) years at the time of such act.

Oregon

The age of consent in Oregon is 18. Sexual offenses are defined under the Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 163. With regards to age only, the following offenses are defined.

18 - Consent for all laws.
Under 18 - Defined as Sexual Abuse 3 (Class A Misdemeanor)
Under 16 - Defined as Rape 3 / Sodomy 3 (Class C Felony) (ORS 163.245)
Under 14 - Defined as Rape 2 / Sodomy 2 (Class B Felony)
Under 12 - Defined as Rape 1 / Sodomy 1 (Class A Felony)

Additionally, Oregon has a 3 year rule defined under ORS 163.345. However, this does not apply to Rape 1, or Sodomy 1, effectively limiting the age to 12. However, a person can still be charged with Sexual Misconduct (Class C Misdemeanor) under ORS 163.445, if the victim was under 15 years old.

Pennsylvania

The age of consent in Pennsylvania is 16 years of age for statutory sexual assault and 18 years for corruption of minors.

Teenagers aged 13, 14 and 15 may or may not be able to legally engage in sexual activity with partners who are less than 4 years older. Such partners could not be prosecuted under statutory rape laws, but may be liable for other offenses, even when the sexual activity is consensual.[29]

Under Pennsylvania law, a defendant is strictly liable for the offense of rape, a felony of the first degree, when the complainant is 12 or younger. Pennsylvania has enacted several other strict liability sexual offenses when the complainant is under 16, but 13 years old or older.

§ 3122.1. Statutory sexual assault.

Except as provided in section 3121 (relating to rape), a person commits a felony of the second degree when that person engages in sexual intercourse with a complainant under the age of 16 years and that person is four or more years older than the complainant and the complainant and the person are not married to each other.

§ 3125 Aggravated indecent assault

(7) the complainant is less than 13 years of age; or (8) the complainant is less than 16 years of age and the person is four or more years older than the complainant and the complainant and the person are not married to each other. (b) Aggravated indecent assault of a child.--A person commits aggravated indecent assault of a child when the person violates subsection (a)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5) or (6) and the complainant is less than 13 years of age.

§ 3123 Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse

(7) who is less than 16 years of age and the person is four or more years older than the complainant and the complainant and person are not married to each other.

When the alleged victim is 16 or older and less than 18 years of age, and the alleged offender is over the age of 18, the Commonwealth may charge the offense of corruption of minors or unlawful contact with a minor, even if the activity was consensual:

§ 6301 Corruption of minors.

(a) Offense defined.-- (1) Whoever, being of the age of 18 years and upwards, by any act corrupts or tends to corrupt the morals of any minor less than 18 years of age, or who aids, abets, entices or encourages any such minor in the commission of any crime, or who knowingly assists or encourages such minor in violating his or her parole or any order of court, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree.

The crime of corruption of minors is usually a crime that accompanies another "more serious" crime such as statutory rape or involuntary deviate sexual intercourse or accompanies some drug or alcohol use, possession or sale. Tending to corrupt like contributing to delinquency is a broad term involving conduct toward a child in an unlimited variety of ways which tends to produce or to encourage or to continue conduct of the child which would amount to delinquent conduct."[30]

The question of whether consensual intercourse with a minor 16 years or older tends to corrupt the morals of that minor is a jury question to be decided by the "common sense of the community."[31]

§ 6318. Unlawful contact with minor.

(a) Offense defined.--A person commits an offense if he is intentionally in contact with a minor, or a law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his duties who has assumed the identity of a minor, for the purpose of engaging in an activity prohibited under any of the following, and either the person initiating the contact or the person being contacted is within this Commonwealth: (1) Any of the offenses enumerated in Chapter 31 (relating to sexual offenses). (2) Open lewdness as defined in section 5901 (relating to open lewdness). (3) Prostitution as defined in section 5902 (relating to prostitution and related offenses). (4) Obscene and other sexual materials and performances as defined in section 5903 (relating to obscene and other sexual materials and performances). (5) Sexual abuse of children as defined in section 6312 (relating to sexual abuse of children). (6) Sexual exploitation of children as defined in section 6320 (relating to sexual exploitation of children).

Rhode Island

The age of consent in Rhode Island is 16.

§ 11-37-6 Third degree sexual assault. – A person is guilty of third degree sexual assault if he or she is over the age of eighteen (18) years and engaged in sexual penetration with another person over the age of fourteen (14) years and under the age of consent, sixteen (16) years of age.

South Carolina

The age of consent in South Carolina is 16.

SECTION 16-3-651. Criminal sexual conduct: definitions...(h) "Sexual battery" means sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intercourse, or any intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person's body or of any object into the genital or anal openings of another person's body, except when such intrusion is accomplished for medically recognized treatment or diagnostic purposes.

SECTION 16-3-655. Criminal sexual conduct with a minor; aggravating and mitigating circumstances; penalties; repeat offenders. (B) A person is guilty of criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the second degree if:...(2) the actor engages in sexual battery with a victim who is at least fourteen years of age but who is less than sixteen years of age and the actor is in a position of familial, custodial, or official authority to coerce the victim to submit or is older than the victim. However, a person may not be convicted of a violation of the provisions of this item if he is eighteen years of age or less when he engages in illicit but consensual sexual conduct with another person who is at least fourteen years of age. In addition, mistake of age may be used as a defense.

SECTION 16-15-140. Committing or attempting lewd act upon child under sixteen. It is unlawful for a person over the age of fourteen years to willfully and lewdly commit or attempt a lewd or lascivious act upon or with the body, or its parts, of a child under the age of sixteen years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of the person or of the child.

South Dakota

The age of consent in South Dakota is 16.

22-22-1. Rape defined—Degrees—Felony. Rape is an act of sexual penetration accomplished with any person under any of the following circumstances:...(5)If the victim is thirteen years of age, but less than sixteen years of age, and the perpetrator is at least three years older than the victim.

22-22-7. Sexual contact with child under sixteen—Felony or misdemeanor. Any person, sixteen years of age or older, who knowingly engages in sexual contact with another person, other than that person's spouse if the other person is under the age of sixteen years is guilty of a Class 3 felony. If the actor is less than three years older than the other person, the actor is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If an adult has a previous conviction for a felony violation of this section, any subsequent felony conviction for a violation under this section, is a Class 2 felony. Notwithstanding § 23A-42-2, a charge brought pursuant to this section may be commenced at any time before the victim becomes age twenty-five or within seven years of the commission of the crime, whichever is longer.

22-22-7.3. Sexual contact with child under sixteen years of age—Violation as misdemeanor. Any person, younger than sixteen years of age, who knowingly engages in sexual contact with another person, other than his or her spouse, if such other person is younger than sixteen years of age, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Tennessee

In a statutory rape case in Tennessee, the age of consent is 18. The stance of the state of Tennessee on the age of consent is "Statutory rape is sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant or of the defendant by the victim when the victim is at least thirteen (13) but less than eighteen (18) years of age and the defendant is at least four (4) years older than the victim." {Full text of TN statutory rape laws [23]} Tennessee law does not give clear directions for cases in which both parties are below age of consent.

Texas

The age of consent in Texas is 17 (Texas Penal Code Section 21.11). However , "...It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the actor...was not more than three years older than the victim and of the opposite sex...(and) did not use duress, force, or a threat against the victim at the time of the offence" and is not a registered sex offender {Section 21.11(b)}.

Section 21.12 further prohibits all sexual contact between an employee of a school (including educators) and a student enrolled at the primary or secondary school where said employee works (unless the student is the employee's spouse). No age is specified by the statute (thus, even if the student has reached consent age of 17, it is still a violation), and violations are a second degree felony.

Utah

The age of consent in Utah is 18. It is however legal for minors aged 16 and 17 to engage in sexual activity with partners less than 10 years older.

76-5-401.2. Unlawful sexual conduct with a 16 or 17 year old. (1) For purposes of this section "minor" means a person who is 16 years of age or older, but younger than 18 years of age, at the time the sexual conduct described in this section occurred. (2) A person commits unlawful sexual conduct with a minor if, under circumstances not amounting to rape, in violation of Section 76-5-402, object rape, in violation of Section 76-5-402.2, forcible sodomy, in violation of Section 76-5-403, or aggravated sexual assault, in violation of Section 76-5-405, the actor who is ten or more years older than the minor at the time of the sexual conduct: (a) has sexual intercourse with the minor; (b) engages in any sexual act with the minor involving the genitals of one person and the mouth or anus of another person, regardless of the sex of either participant...

76-5-401.Unlawful sexual activity with a minor—Elements—Penalties—Evidence of age raised by defendant. (1) For purposes of this section "minor" is a person who is 14 years of age or older, but younger than 16 years of age, at the time the sexual activity described in this section occurred. (2) A person commits unlawful sexual activity with a minor if, under circumstances not amounting to rape, in violation of Section 76-5-402, object rape, in violation of Section 76-5-402.2, forcible sodomy, in violation of Section 76-5-403, or aggravated sexual assault, in violation of Section 76-5-405, the actor: (a) has sexual intercourse with the minor; (b) engages in any sexual act with the minor involving the genitals of one person and the mouth or anus of another person, regardless of the sex of either participant; or (c) causes the penetration, however slight, of the genital or anal opening of the minor by any foreign object, substance, instrument, or device, including a part of the human body, with the intent to cause substantial emotional or bodily pain to any person or with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, regardless of the sex of any participant. (3) A violation of Subsection (2) is a third degree felony unless the defendant establishes by a preponderance of the evidence the mitigating factor that the defendant is less than four years older than the minor at the time the sexual activity occurred, in which case it is a class B misdemeanor.

Vermont

The age of consent in Vermont is 16.

Title 13 V.S.A. § 3252.[24]

Sexual assault:

§3252(c) No person shall engage in a sexual act with a child who is under the age of 16, except:

  1. where the persons are married to each other and the sexual act is consensual; or
  2. where the person is less than 19 years old, the child is at least 15 years old, and the sexual act is consensual.

Virginia

The age of consent in Virginia is 18, with a close in age exception which allows teenagers aged 15, 16 and 17 to engage in sexual acts, but only with a partner younger than 18. However the legislation is not clear cut and the details are discussed below:

Any penetrative sexual act other than penile-vaginal intercourse is defined in Virginia law as 'sodomy.' Section 18.2-361 of the Code of Virginia entitled "Crimes against nature" states in part;

"If any person carnally knows in any manner any brute animal, or carnally knows any male or female person by the anus or by or with the mouth, or voluntarily submits to such carnal knowledge, he or she shall be guilty of ... felony..."

In addition, any sexual intercourse is defined in Virginia law as 'fornication.' Section 18.2-344 of the Code of Virginia entitled "Crimes against nature" states;

"Any person, not being married, who voluntarily shall have sexual intercourse with any other person, shall be guilty of fornication, punishable as a Class 4 misdemeanor."

The courts of Virginia have ruled that these statutes are not invalid under the US Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas since that case only applied to adults, and the age of majority in Virginia is 18. This means that those 18 and above involved in consensual activity in private may have a defense in court, but those under 18 do not.

Section § 18.2-63 of the Code refers to minors younger than 15, while § 18.2-371 is about 15, 16 and 17 years olds.

Section 18.2-63 states in part:

"If any person carnally knows, without the use of force, a child thirteen years of age or older but under fifteen years of age, such person shall be guilty of ... felony ... For the purposes of this section, (i) a child under the age of thirteen years shall not be considered a consenting child and (ii) "carnal knowledge" includes the acts of sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, analingus, anal intercourse, and animate and inanimate object sexual penetration."

Consensual sex where one partner is 15, 16 or 17 and the other is over 18 is a class 1 misdemeanor.

§ 18.2-371. Causing or encouraging acts rendering children delinquent, abused, etc.; penalty; abandoned infant. Any person 18 years of age or older, including the parent of any child, who (i) willfully contributes to, encourages, or causes any act, omission, or condition which renders a child delinquent, in need of services, in need of supervision, or abused or neglected as defined in § 16.1-228, or (ii) engages in consensual sexual intercourse with a child 15 or older not his spouse, child, or grandchild, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor

Washington

The age of consent in Washington is 16.

It is also illegal to engage in sexual acts with someone younger than 18 under three different sets of circumstances, enumerated in RCW 9A.44.096. Foster parents with their foster children; school teachers and school administration employees over their students; The third set of circumstances require all of the following situations occur in tandem: The older person is 60 months or more older than the 16- or 17-year-old, the person is in a significant relationship as defined, and such older person abuses the relationship to have sexual contact.

There are also three exceptions for people close in age.

  • RCW 9A.44.079 "A person is guilty of rape of a child in the third degree when the person has sexual intercourse with another who is at least fourteen years old but less than sixteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least forty-eight months older than the victim. Rape of a child in the third degree is a class C felony."
  • RCW 9A.44.076 "A person is guilty of rape of a child in the second degree when the person has sexual intercourse with another who is at least twelve years old but less than fourteen years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least thirty-six months older than the victim. Rape of a child in the second degree is a class A felony."
  • RCW 9A.44.073 "A person is guilty of rape of a child in the first degree when the person has sexual intercourse with another who is less than twelve years old and not married to the perpetrator and the perpetrator is at least twenty-four months older than the victim. Rape of a child in the first degree is a class A felony."

Several have reported that the immoral communication with a minor statute exists and places the age of consent at 18 due to the inability to "communicate" to 16- and 17-year-olds about sexual activity. These reports have been alarming in nature, however they are completely anecdotal, and perhaps even urban legend. The Washington Court of Appeals, Division 1 decided in the case of State v. Danforth, 56 Wn. App. 133, 782 P.2d 1091 (1989) that such communication has to be for the purposes of committing an illegal act under RCW Chapter 9.68A. Danforth's conviction was overturned by that ruling. However, the Washington Supreme Court in the case of State v. McNallie, 120 Wn.2d 925, 846 P.2d 1358 (1993) overturned the scope of the Danforth ruling (though not the result; Danforth would have still had his conviction overturned under the McNallie standard), applying the communication statute to encompass all sexual misconduct with a minor, not just those under RCW Chapter 9.68A, which deal mostly with illegal child pornography and prostitution. Due to these cases, it is clear that communications with 16- and 17-year-olds just for general sexual activity is legal, as long as such conduct discussed is not about illegal conduct or would be illegal in real life (such as the teacher/student circumstance, the foster parent/foster child circumstance, the significant relationship abuse circumstance, or asking for illegal pictures or attempting to bring such younger persons into prostitution).

West Virginia

The age of consent in West Virginia is 16.

§61-8B-5. Sexual assault in the third degree. (a) A person is guilty of sexual assault in the third degree when: (2) The person, being sixteen years old or more, engages in sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion with another person who is less than sixteen years old and who is at least four years younger than the defendant and is not married to the defendant.

Wisconsin

The age of consent in Wisconsin is 18.

948.02 Sexual assault of a child... 2) SECOND DEGREE SEXUAL ASSAULT. Whoever has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a person who has not attained the age of 16 years is guilty of a Class C felony...

948.09 Sexual intercourse with a child age 16 or older. Whoever has sexual intercourse with a child who is not the defendant’s spouse and who has attained the age of 16 years is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

Wyoming

The age of consent in Wyoming is 17.

6‑2‑304. Sexual assault in the third degree. (a) An actor commits sexual assault in the third degree if, under circumstances not constituting sexual assault in the first or second degree: (i) The actor is at least four (4) years older than the victim and inflicts sexual intrusion on a victim under the age of sixteen (16) years...

The age of consent in Wyoming was thought by some to be 16, as stated above by Sction 6‑2‑304. However, in the cases of Pierson v. State and Moore v. State, the Wyoming Supreme Court held that sexual activity with minors aged 16 or 17 could be charged under Section 14-3-105 of Wyoming Statutes. That statute was repealed in 2007 and re-codified as Section 6-2-316, which provides, in pertinent part as follows:

6-2-315. Sexual abuse of a minor in the third degree. (a) Except under circumstance constituting sexual abuse of a minor in the first or second degree as defined by W.S. 6-2-314 and 6-2-315, an actor commits the crime of sexual abuse of a minor in the third degree if: . . . (iv) Being seventeen (17) years of age or older, the actor knowingly takes immodest, immoral or indecent liberties with a victim who is less than seventeen (17) years of age and the victim is at least four (4) years younger than the actor.

U.S. Virgin Islands

Paraphrasing Virgin Islands Code: V.I.C. § 1700-1709 Virgin Islands Code and appeals records Francis vs. VI NOTE: "mistake of fact as to the victim's age is not a defense". The age of consent is 18. There is however a close in age exemption which allows 16 and 17 years olds to consent with someone no more than five years older than themselves and 13- to 15-year-olds to consent with one another, but not with anyone older. For example, a 15-year-old may not consent with a sixteen-year-old.

The code reads as follows:

  • § 1700. Aggravated rape in the first degree

(a) Whoever perpetrates an act of sexual intercourse or sodomy with a person not the perpetrator's spouse

      1. Who is under the age of thirteen, or…
      2. who is under sixteen years of age residing in the same household as the perpetrator, and force, intimidation, or the perpetrator's position of authority over the victim is used to accomplish the sexual act; ...
  • § 1700a. Aggravated rape in the second degree

(a) Whoever perpetrates an act of sexual intercourse or sodomy with a person who is under eighteen years but thirteen years or older and not the perpetrator's spouse, or by force, intimidation, or the perpetrator's position of authority over the victim is used to accomplish the sexual act, is guilty of aggravated rape in the second degree and shall be imprisoned for life or for any term in years, but not less than 10 years. “Position of authority” shall include, but not be exclusive to the following: an employer, youth leader, scout leader, coach, teacher, counselor, school administrator, religious leader, doctor, nurse, psychologist, guardian ad litem, baby sitter, or substantially similar position, and a police officer or probation officer other than when the officer is exercising custodial control over a minor. ...

  • § 1702. Rape in the second degree

(a) Any person over 18 years of age who perpetrates under circumstances not amounting to rape in the first degree, an act of sexual intercourse or sodomy with a person not the perpetrator's spouse who is at least 16 years but less than 18 years of age, and the perpetrator is 5 years or older than the victim, is guilty of rape in the second degree and shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years.

  • § 1703. Rape in the third degree

Any person under 18 years of age but over 16 years of age who perpetrates an act of sexual intercourse or sodomy with a person not the perpetrator's spouse who is under 16 years of age but over 13 years of age, under circumstances not amounting to rape in the first degree, is guilty of rape in the third degree and shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Family Division of the Superior Court

  • § 1708. Unlawful sexual contact in the first degree

A person who engages in sexual contact with a person not the perpetrator's spouse— (1) when force or coercion is used to accomplish the sexual contact; (2) when the other person is under thirteen years of age; (3) when the other person is under sixteen years of age residing in the same household as the perpetrator, and force, intimidation or the perpetrator's position of authority over the victim is used to accomplish the sexual contact;

  • § 1709. Unlawful sexual contact in the second degree

A person over eighteen years of age who engages in sexual contact with a person not the perpetrator's spouse who is over thirteen but under sixteen years of age is guilty of unlawful sexual contact in the second degree and shall be imprisoned not more than 1 year.

See also

References

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ "Canada's age of consent raised by 2 years". CBC News. 2008-05-01. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/05/01/crime-bill.html. 
  4. ^ Weber, Terry (2006-06-22). "Tories move to raise age of consent". Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060622.wconsent0622/BNStory/National/home. 
  5. ^ Social Laws of Canada and Ontario summarised for the use of Children's Aid Societies and Social Workers, 1914
  6. ^ a b [3]
  7. ^ [4]
  8. ^ [5]
  9. ^ [6]
  10. ^ [7]
  11. ^ [8]
  12. ^ [9]
  13. ^ [10]
  14. ^ [11]
  15. ^ [12]
  16. ^ [13]
  17. ^ Sexual Offences Laws - Honduras
  18. ^ [14]
  19. ^ http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/pdf/02-102P.ZO
  20. ^ http://www.kscourts.org/cases-and-opinions/opinions/supct/2005/20051021/85898.htm
  21. ^ http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SoCalization
  22. ^ United States v. Dhingra, which discusses the fact of incorporation of state criminal law into violation of 2422(b), specifically California statute, where Dhingra resided and committed the acts.
  23. ^ Posner, Richard (1996). A Guide to America's Sex Laws. The University of Chicago Press. p. 45. ISBN 0-226-67564-5.  The case cited is Michael M. v. Superior Court, 450 U.S. 464 (1981).
  24. ^ state law chart Official govt. website
  25. ^ DC Code §22
  26. ^ These laws have been translated into layman's terms at the child sexual abuse prevention website YouCanStopItNow.org.
  27. ^ "§ 97-3-65. Statutory rape; enhanced penalty for forcible sexual intercourse or statutory rape by administering certain substances.". LexisNexis.com. http://michie.lexisnexis.com/mississippi/lpext.dll?f=templates&fn=main-h.htm&cp=. Retrieved 2008-02-18. 
  28. ^ NJ Code 2C:14-1 http://lis.njleg.state.nj.us/cgi-bin/om_isapi.dll?clientID=41649644&Depth=2&depth=2&expandheadings=on&headingswithhits=on&hitsperheading=on&infobase=statutes.nfo&record={172A}&softpage=Document42
  29. ^ e.g. § 6318. Unlawful contact with minor (does not require the offender to be over the age of 18) or § 6301. Corruption of minors (requires the offender to be over the age of 18)
  30. ^ See Commonwealth v. Decker, 26 Pa. D. & C. 4th 157 (1995)[15]
  31. ^ Id. at 161.

Further reading

  • FBI website - describes various federal crimes against minors

External links








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