State Laws. A. Statutory Rape - Criminal Offenses

09/25/2000

An individual is deemed incapable of consent when he or she is less than 16 years of age.[308] Individuals are exempt from prosecution for rape (a felony) under the following circumstances:

  • If the victim is less than 14 years of age and the defendant is less than 18 years of age[309]
  • If the victim is between 14 and 16 years of age and the defendant is less than 21 years of age[310]

However, it is a misdemeanor to engage in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with someone under 16 years of age regardless of the age of the defendant.[311]

Definition of Offenses

Offense Definition
3rd degree sexual abuse[312] Sexual contact[313] with someone at least 14 years of age where the defendant is less than 5 years older than the victim.
Sexual misconduct[314] Engaging in sexual intercourse[315] or deviate sexual intercourse[316] with someone less than 16 years of age.
2nd degree sexual abuse[317] Sexual contact with someone less than 14 years of age.
1st degree sexual abuse[318] Sexual contact with someone less than 12 years of age.
3rd degree rape[319] Engaging in sexual intercourse with someone less than 16 years of age where the defendant is at least 21 years of age.
2nd degree rape[320] Engaging in sexual intercourse with someone less than 14 years of age where the defendant is at least 18 years of age.
1st degree rape[321] Engaging in sexual intercourse with someone less than 12 years of age.Engaging in sexual intercourse with someone less than 12 years of age.

Note: Marriage is a defense to all of these offenses when the act is only illegal due to the fact that the victim is less than 16 years of age.[322]