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Practices > Sex Crimes > Statutory Rape

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A person may be charged with statutory rape when he/she has engaged in a sexual act with a minor under the legal age of 18. In most cases, the parent of the minor child will report the incident to the police and a report will be filed with the District Attorney’s office. The District Attorney’s office then decides whether or not to file charges against the accused adult. Frequently, a circumstance arises where a minor female becomes impregnated and after she tells her parents, they tell the police.

In cases of statutory rape, it does not matter if the minor consented to the sexual act or not. The law says that a minor does not have the ability to give consent. Thus, they cannot legally consent to having sex. Consent to sex can never be given by minors, mentally disabled persons, and physically incapacitated persons (intoxicated, asleep, unconscious, ill, or drugged), as a matter of law. This comes into play in cases of statutory rape or in cases of date rape where drugs such as rohypnol ("ruphies") or alcohol are used. Voluntary intoxication by the victim is not a defense to crimes such as sexual assault. Voluntary intoxication by the perpetrator is also not a defense.

What if the victim in a statutory rape case lied about their age, and you honestly did not know they were under the age of 18?

Statutory rape is what’s known as a “strict liability” offense. The law does not care what you knew or didn’t know, believed or did not believe. A person can be found guilty of the crime even if they honestly thought the other person was 18 years of age or older. They can also be found guilty of the crime even if the victim consented and gave false information regarding their age.

If you, a friend, or a family member believes they will be, or has been charged with statutory rape, contact the experienced and knowledgeable lawyers at WILL & WILL, LLP. You need a skilled attorney on your side to help preserve your criminal record. We have handled all types of sex crimes cases, including many statutory rape cases. We can help you. Call us or fill out the online contact form for a free consultation.



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