Statutory Rape: A Guide to State Laws and Reporting Requirements. Endnotes

12/15/2004

9 Although the federal government’s jurisdiction is limited, the United States Code does include statutory rape laws. See 18 U.S.C.A. § 2241 and § 2243.

10 There are some cases where a state’s laws regarding sexual intercourse are not consistent with one or more of its laws governing other types of sexual acts. For example, in South Dakota, engaging in sexual penetration with someone between 10 and 16 years of age is illegal unless the defendant is less than 3 years older than the victim. However, sexual contact with someone who is less than 16 years of age is illegal regardless of the age of the defendant (in State v. Darby, 556 N.W.2d 311, 127 (SD 1996), the South Dakota Supreme Court found that these two offenses can be mutually exclusive). Such instances are identified in the appropriate state summaries.

11 Engaging in sexual intercourse with someone who is less than 16 years of age is legal under certain circumstances. However, sexual contact with someone who is less than 15 years of age is illegal regardless of the age of the defendant.

12 Sexual acts with individuals who are at least 16 years of age are only illegal is the defendant is 30 years of age or older.

13 Intercourse with a female who is less than 18 years of age is illegal regardless of the age of the defendant. However, sexual acts not amounting to penetration are legal under certain circumstances in cases where the victim is at least 16 years of age.

14 It is illegal to engage in a sexual act with someone who is less than 14 years of age regardless of the age of the defendant. However, sexual contact or sexual touching with someone who is less than 14 years of age is legal under certain circumstances.

15 It is illegal to engage in a sexual penetration with someone who is less than 16 years of age. However, sexual contact with someone who is at least 13 years of age is legal under certain circumstances.

16Sexual intercourse with someone who is less than 16 years of age is illegal regardless of the age of the defendant. However, sexual contact with someone who is at least 14 years of age is legal under certain circumstances.

17 Under the offense, “Debauching a minor,” it is illegal to debauch or deprave morals by lewdly inducing someone less than 17 years of age to carnally know any other person.

18 It is illegal to engage in a sexual penetration with someone who is less than 13 years of age regardless of the age of the defendant. However, sexual contact with someone who is less than 13 years of age is legal under certain circumstances.

19 Engaging in sexual penetration with someone who is at least 10 years of age and less than 16 years of age is legal under certain circumstances. However, sexual contact with someone who is less than 16 years of age is illegal regardless of the age of the defendant.

20 The Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, and Tennessee statutes include the offense of statutory rape. The situation in which an act would be considered statutory rape differs by state. The crime of statutory rape in North Carolina is also referred to as “sexual offense of person who is 13, 14, or 15 years old.” In addition to the five states listed, the Pennsylvania statutes include the offense of “statutory sexual assault.” Similarly, “statutory sexual seduction” is a crime in Nevada.

21 It is important to note that this ordering is inexact. The statutes often provide a range of sentences and this ordering does not take into account the effect of any sentencing recommendations in the statutes or other documents.

22 Most statutes categorize crimes based on the severity of the act (e.g., 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree rape). The state summaries note those cases where, within a specific crime, the severity varies depending on the age of the defendant. For example, Georgia law considers the crime of statutory rape to be a felony unless the victim is 14 or 15 years of age (the age of consent is 16) and the defendant is no more than 3 years older than the victim, in which case the offense is only a misdemeanor.

23 In Arkansas, marriage is a defense to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th degree sexual assault but not rape.

24 In South Carolina, the spousal exemption does not apply to marriages entered into by a male under 16 years of age or a female under 14 years of age.

25 It is important to note that this report does not address state laws governing the age at which individuals can marry.

26 Usually, persons responsible for the care of a child include parents, guardians, custodians, caretakers, or individuals living in the same house as the child. The exact definitions vary by state.

27 Although the reporting requirements in many states make reference to one or more of the state’s statutory rape laws, California is somewhat of an exception in that the reporting requirements are included in the same section of the statutes (the penal code) as the criminal laws addressing sexual activities with minors.

28 2002 Conn. AG Lexis 33, September 30, 2002

29 As the primary focus of this project is reporting requirements as they affect HHS grantees, the state summaries tend to include an abbreviated list emphasizing those professions more relevant to the project. For example, although most states identify coroners and medical examiners as mandated reporters, they have been omitted from the state summaries.

30 Most state statutes in which members of the clergy or attorneys are mandated reporters designate certain communication to be privileged and therefore exempt from these requirements. Such laws are described within the state summaries where appropriate.

31 Almost all state statutes include a provision indicating that anyone is allowed to report suspected abuse.

32 California Penal Code, §11166

33Planned Parenthood Affiliates v. Van De Kamp, 226 Cal. Rptr. 361 (1986); People ex rel. Eichenberger v. Stockton Pregnancy Control Medial Clinic, Inc., 249 Cal. Rptr. 762 (1988).

34 Although many states’ statutes also include instructions for non-mandatory reporters who wish to report suspected abuse, the state summaries do not discuss these provisions.

35 Some state statutes require the state agency responsible for receiving reports to maintain a toll-free hotline for the sole purpose of receiving reports.

36 Nine of these states only require a follow-up report if the agency receiving the report requests one.

37 The exact titles of these agencies vary by state.

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