Statutory rape is a category of rape that refers to sexual relationships involving those who are under the age of consent. These minors are not old enough to consent to having sex, so even if they were willing, the other party can be accused of rape.
There are some defenses to statutory rape claims. For instance, if you were dating someone only two years younger than you and you two had intercourse, you may be able to defend yourself due to your close proximity in age. Of course, the minor involved can’t be too young; in most cases, if the minor is 14 or younger, this won’t be a good defense.
Statutory rape is unusual in that it doesn’t mean force had to be used. Both people may have been willing, but the age of the minor overshadows the minor’s willingness to perform those acts. That’s why parents of these minors are able to sue or pursue charges, even if the minor does not wish to.
The age of the person you’ve been with will make a difference in how you’re charged. For instance, if you’ve been sleeping with a 12 or 13-year-old person, then you could be facing a felony. If the minor was 16 but under the consent age for the state, then you might face a misdemeanor or lower-level felony.
These cases can be complicated, but you don’t have to face the accusations alone. You can defend yourself in a number of ways and work to get a reduced sentence or have your case thrown out. Our website has more on how you can fight back against accusations that could affect the rest of your life.