Not the laws dating minor can
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Your year-old son is dating a year-old female classmate - no big deal, right? Take, for example, the widely publicized case of Marcus Dwayne Dixon, an year-old high school honor student and star football player who had sex with a year-old female classmate. She claimed it was rape, he claimed it was consensual, and a jury acquitted him of the charges. However, because of their age difference, the jury still found Dixon guilty of statutory rape and aggravated child molestation, and sentenced him to a mandatory 10 years in prison under Georgia law. He walked out of prison on May 3, , at age 19, a free man. Prior to his court case and conviction, Dixon had been offered a full football scholarship at Vanderbilt University, which was revoked after his arrest.
For the most part, there is no single age at which a person can consent to sexual activity. Only 12 states set a specific age ranging from 16 to 18while in the majority of states, the age of consent depends on multiple factors, including the ages of each partner and the number of years between them.
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The purpose behind most statutory rape laws is to punish grown adults who take sexual advantage of a minor. The following are just a few examples of Romeo and Juliet laws currently in place in the United States:. Exceptions and Other Considerations In addition to Romeo and Juliet laws, some states have specific exemptions when both parties to the sexual act are minors, or the person to be charged is legally married to the minor.
However, there are still restrictions in some states about the type of sexual activity that is permissible, such as oral sex and sodomy, as well as restrictions on relationships involving a minor and a person of authority, including teachers, coaches, or tutors. All states have special provisions if any physical force was used or serious physical injury resulted.
Until recently, statutory rape laws applied only to females, ignoring situations involving sex between an adult female and underage male. Today, most laws are gender neutral, and a number of women in authority positions such as Mary Kay Letourneau, Debra Lafave, Pamela Rogers Turner, and Pamela Smart have been prosecuted for engaging in sexual relationships with younger males.
Does the Punishment Fit the Crime? While many states have strict statutory rape laws on the books, prosecutors have been inconsistent in enforcing them, says Mark Chaffin, a researcher with the National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth.
Laws dating minor
One particularly shocking case drew international attention when year-old Georgia resident, Genarlow Wilson, was charged with aggravated child molestation and sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a year-old girl. Georgia law, which has since been changed to classify this act as a misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of one year in prison, also required Wilson to register as a sex offender when he was released.
Are Statutory Rape Laws Outdated? Statutory rape laws are based on the premise that although young girls may want to have sex, they may not have enough experience or discernment to make a mature, informed decision.
Such laws are there to punish adults who take sexual advantage of minors. If your date is below the legal age of consent, you could be charged with statutory rape, even if the sex is consensual.
If underage dating involves sexual intercourse, state statutory rape laws apply.
If you are charged with having sex with a person who is younger than the statutory age of consent and are found guilty, you may face legal consequences such as jail time. Statutory rape is sexual intercourse with a person who is younger than the statutory age of consent, as determined by state law. This applies even if the parties are in a long-term romantic relationship or the sex is consensual.
Age of consent is the age at which a person chooses to take part in sexual activity without it being considered statutory rape. In the U. At the united states issued a minor children they make for 3, nevada, is between 16 and confidentiality.
Mar 24, It is illegal to have sexual contact, which can include touching or caressing, with a minor. There is an exception which generally allows parties who are both still in high school, AND the age difference between them is less than 1 year ( days). Thus, a 18 year old senior male, in high school, with a Birthday of say April 1st could date a The purpose behind most statutory rape laws is to punish grown adults who take sexual advantage of a minor. Because the laws weren't intended to punish two individuals close in age who engage in consensual sex, in many jurisdictions, an adult who is two or three years older than the minor will not be charged with statutory rape, or will be. Set rules so teenagers know the boundaries of acceptable behavior. Teach children about giving and demanding respectful treatment. Finally, group dating is the best way to introduce teens to the dating world without too much pressure. Following these guidelines and understanding the law will help minors learn to date safely.
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