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refers to engaging in a sex act with someone who is below the legal age of consent.
This term most often applies to instances of an adult having sex with someone under age, but it can apply in other situations as well, depending on the laws of the state in which it occurred.
Statutory rape laws date back centuries, having been put into place to protect minors who were not mature enough to give consent.
Statutory rape laws originally protected only female victims from male perpetrators.
In this example of Romeo and Juliet laws, however, had Brendan been 18, making the age difference 4 years instead of 3, he could be subject to statutory rape charges.
Even though sex between teens and young adults if often consensual, statutory rape is a serious crime that can have a lasting negative impact on the parties involved.
The laws of some states require an individual convicted of statutory rape to register as a sex offender. Department of Justice maintains a registry compiled of each individual state’s list.
Each state has specific legal age of consent laws, which vary from 10 to 18 years of age.