What is Statutory Rape?
In its most general classification, Statutory Rape is defined as the illegal and unlawful engaging of sexual activity with a minor. Depending on the case details, further classification of individual Statutory Rape cases can include Sexual Assault and Rape.
Due to the fact that legislation varies on a state-by-state and country-by-country basis, a guilty verdict can result in a variety of possible convictions, ranging from degreed sexual offenses to aggravated sexual assault. In most cases, not only the jurisdiction, but also the nature and severity of the sexual activity in question contribute to the qualification and classification of specific sexual acts and their punitive restitution.
Statutory Rape vs. Aggravated Rape
The primary difference between aggravated rape and Statutory Rape is located in the presumably-forced nature of the sexual engagement in question. While aggravated rape is classified by force, violence, threats, and malice, Statutory Rape may involve a circumstance in which a suspect in question may allege that the victim conceded to participation in sexual activity. Yet, a minor is legally-prohibited from conceding to any activity that is sexual in nature. As a result, Statutory Rape charges retain the prospect of the involvement of manipulation, exploitation, and solicitation with regard to a minor in lieu of forced violence or threats of harm. The classification of an act of Sexual Assault varies depending on the details of the statutory rape in question.
Statutory Rape Offense Profile
Legal Jurisdiction: Criminal Law, Sex Crimes, Minor Law
Type of Crime: Felony
Criminal Code: Varies upon the location of the crime, including the applicable country, nation, state, or province
Range of Punishment(s): Typically probation or incarceration – varies upon case details
Applicable Punishment(s): Varies upon individual intent, criminal record, criminal history, and the victim(s) involved. In the event that an individual is found guilty of Statutory Rape may be subject to the mandatory registration as a sex offender and enlisting oneself in a sex offender registry.
Terminology Associated with Statutory Rape
The following are commonly associated with charges of Statutory Rape:
Age of Consent: This is defined as the age at which an individual can lawfully and legally consent to the engagement in sexual activity and/or marriage without the presence of a guardian, adult, or custodian. The age of consent varies from state-to-state and country-to-country.
Sex Offender: A criminal conviction illustrating the participation in a sexually-related crime.
Sexual Assault: A criminal conviction illustrating the illegal, non-consensual, illicit, and unlawful engagement in a forced sexual act.
Megan’s Law: A law that exists within the United States that requires individuals convicted in sex crimes involving children or minor- to register themselves in a database containing the names and locations of all known and convicted sex offenders residing within the United States. This law was enacted as a preventative measure to deter Statutory Rape and other forms of exploitative sex crimes.
The Statutory Rape Arrest Process
In the event that the prospect exists in which an individual is at risk for or has been arrested as a result of a Statutory Rape charge, it is of the utmost importance that they are aware and mindful of the basic legality associated with the criminal justice system. Upon arrest, an individual should be made aware of the following in order to prevent any further complication(s):
The Presumption of Innocence
The right to remain silent
The right for any words spoken during the arrest to be admissible during a trial
The right to consult with an attorney regardless of financial stature
The acknowledgement that the individual arrested for the Statutory Rape charge understands the aforementioned rights.
The Preparation of a Statutory Rape Defense
In the event that an individual has been arrested on a Statutory Rape charge, they are encouraged to observe the behavioral protocol of the arrest process. Individuals are encouraged to consult with attorneys specializing in criminal law and, if possible, those who focus on sex crimes, defense, and administrative law.
Reporting Statutory Rape
In the event that you are a victim or simply aware of a circumstance in which statutory rape has occurred, you are encouraged to contact local law enforcement or the United States Department of Health and Human Services at their toll-free telephone number: (877) 696-6775. In many cases, this can be done anonymously. However, assistance is available immediately.