- Age of Consent by State;
- Pennsylvania’s Statutory Rape Laws and Potential Penalties?
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Statutory sexual assault includes sexual intercourse including genital, oral, or anal penetration, however slight with a child who 13, 14, or 15, when:. Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse includes oral sex, anal sex, or genital or anal penetration with an object between a minor who is younger than 13 and a defendant of any age.
It also includes minors who are 13, 14, or 15 when the defendant is at least four years older than the victim. Aggravated indecent assault includes genital or anal penetration however slight with a body part, between a minor who is younger than 13 and a defendant of any age. This offense is a second degree felony. Indecent assault includes any sexual or intimate touching for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire. It is also a criminal offense in Pennsylvania for teachers, other school employees, and school volunteers to engage in sexual activity with school students who are under the care and control of the defendant.
State law requires—in addition to the applicable fines and prison time—that people convicted of certain instances of statutory rape must register as sex offenders. Minors are legally incapable of giving consent to having sex; so for example, if Jen, who is 15 years old, willingly has sex with Tony, her year-old boyfriend, Tony can face criminal charges, since Jen is not legally capable of giving consent in the first place.
But if Jen and Tony are married and living in Pennsylvania, Tony need not fear criminal charges for having consensual sex with Jen. The marital defense is a remnant of the marital rape exemption.
However, if Tony were to rape Jen force her to have sex against her will , he would have no protection under the law even if the two are married. In Pennsylvania, there is a Romeo and Juliet exemption that prevents the prosecution of consensual sexual acts between a minor who is 13 or older and a defendant who is less than four years older. However, sexual contact with a child younger than 13 is always a serious crime, no matter the age of the defendant. A conviction for sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 13 can result in as many as 40 years in prison.
Pennsylvania Age Of Consent
Defendants accused of statutory rape often claim that they had no reason to know that their partner was underage. In many states, the age of consent for males and females is different. In some states, there is an exception to the age of consent law if the two partners are close to the same age usually a 2 or 3 year difference , and in most of those states, punishments are harsher if one of the partners is significantly older than the other. Note, though, that if both partners are above the age of consent, any age difference between them is irrelevant.
Also, some states distinguish between sex between a male and a female, and sex between 2 males or 2 females. In many states, until very recently, any type of homosexual sex was illegal, regardless of age.
Age of Consent by State | LegalMatch Law Library
In others, the age of consent for such acts is higher, but it is not altogether illegal. Recently, the United States Supreme Court found that laws which prohibit consensual, private sexual conduct including homosexual conduct between adults are unconstitutional, and cannot be enforced by any state.
However, some states still have those laws on the books. The Pennsylvania Age of Consent is 16 years old.
What Is the Age of Consent?
In the United States, the age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. Individuals aged 15 or younger in Pennsylvania are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape.
Pennsylvania statutory rape law is violated the de-facto age of consent law in Pennsylvania is actually 18 due to Pennsylvania's corruption of minors statute.
This creates an interesting dynamic, as the laws allow teens aged 17 and 16 to consent to each other, but not to anyone 18 or older. Teens between 13 and 15 may or may not be able to consent to a partner less than 4 years older, because while they might not be affected by the statutory rape laws, they could be prosecuted under other offenses.
Pennsylvania has a close-in-age exemption.