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Statutory Rape Laws

123ducklings

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
751
The laws are in place to protect minors and I agree with them and their necessity.

Not the same but an anecdote that comes to mind: When I was in high school an acquaintance was in a relationship with a man in his 30s. When she turned 18 (high school senior) they were open about their relationship and her parents put an end to it. It was a bit of a local scandal and the man ended up taking a job in another state. She was devastated, and felt it had been a committed serious relationship. By then she was 18 (the age of consent in our area) so it was legal. I remember at the time feeling that their relationship was weird to me but harmless — they were both adults so what was the big deal? It felt to me like other adults were overreacting. Now with the benefit of age and life experience I look back on things that happened and see some really predatory grooming behaviors. My acquaintance was absolutely being taken advantage of. It was unhealthy, unsafe, and I’m glad that her parents and other adults recognized clearly what was happening even though she didn’t. I’m not sure what she’d say about it now. No one wants to feel they’ve been taken advantage of. Still, it was wrong.

That said, I agree with some “Romeo and Juliet” gray area, particularly when the people involved are school peers. In my area even though age of consent is 18 it’s common for high school seniors to range in age from 16-19; students often begin college at 17.
 

Jambalaya

Ideal_Rock
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But I would bet she never stopped to think of the circumstances as to how it all started

Very interesting post, AllAboard. Thanks for that. (I'm not quoting it here, just to keep the thread from getting too unruly, since it was long.)

No, I don't suppose she did stop to think about that. I do hope she continues to be OK with it. The story above about the woman who had the delayed reaction is truly scary.
 

Mreader

Brilliant_Rock
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Well, except it's her who's saying she's OK, not the parents, who were appalled and did everything they could to put him away, once he was found out. Her dad bought a gun. (But he didn't use it.)

One of the weird parts of the story is that they thought she was taking birth control for acne. She was only 14 years old so how did she get a script and the parents thought it was for acne? Wouldn’t they have an involved in her health care at that point to know? It just seems strange.
 

Gussie

Ideal_Rock
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Victims oftentimes blame themselves for the abuse and have a deep sense of shame. As was mentioned before, Stockholm Syndrome is present for a lot of victims. Your friend could be hiding her unfounded self blame and shame by presenting the relationship as "happy"?
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Not reading the replies yet. Just speaking from my heart.

Yeah it's so not OK for a 30 year old man (or woman) to have sex with a 14 year old. Period.

A 14 year old is still a child whose judgment is not fully developed. IMO they lack the cognitive and emotional maturity that is necessary to make wise and healthy decisions regarding their sexuality. Furthermore, they are not prepared to cope with consequences of sexual activity.

I am glad he went to jail because that is where he belongs.
 

Myshinybestlife

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 15, 2019
Messages
222
For all the reasons stated above and more than I can articulate, if a 30 yo man violates my 15 yr old sexually or is actively attempting. If he survives my husband, I will ensure that he faces the full wrath of the law regardless of what the 15 yo child says or has been made to think.
 

thecatmom

Rough_Rock
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Mar 18, 2021
Messages
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My friend's daughter had a relationship with a man from her local theater group. The age of consent in my state is 16. They had a relationship that started when she was 14.5 and he was 30. She ended it when she was 16 because she found someone else closer to her own age. (She's now 30 herself.) Five years after the relationship ended, someone told the police, and he was arrested. He got six years in jail - and the reason it was a light sentence is that the relationship was fully consensual. They saw each other three times a week for almost two years. The trial was in all the papers round here and it was a big scandal.

A 30-year-old man with someone who's 14 is pretty gross to me. However, she was in a relationship that she wanted to be in, and many people who are 14 are having sex these days. It just seems odd that someone can go to jail for having a consensual relationship with someone aged14-16. It makes me wonder if an exception should be made for people age 14-plus who insist that the relationship was consensual.

Some states have a major-minor law, where the law recognizes the difference between a child and someone who's nearing the age of maturity. It seems that adding a similar provision would help free up the courts to concentrate on more serious crimes. Statutory rape laws could kick in automatically under age 14 even if the victim claims consent, or at any age under the consent age if they feel they were coerced. But it seemed harsh to me that he got six years in jail for a relationship in which the girl insisted she was an enthusiastic participant, and in which she was 14-16, an age at which many teenagers are having sex.

What do you think?

As a current law student who is passionate about criminal law, I hope my response sheds some light on statutory rape law. Statutory rape is a strict liability offense. Strict liability means that the intent aspect is irrelevant. As such, any question of a consent is out of the picture. Whether a minor is "consenting" or "willing" to participate in a sexual encounter is out of scope. And that is by design. Strict liability offenses are designed to make it easier to prosecute in otherwise complicated areas of law. Because an essential element of rape is consent, and a minor is not legally able to distinguishing between "knowing" and "appreciating", a minor's consent is made irrelevant in statutory rape law. It makes sense because minors don't have the life experiences of an adult and are more easily manipulated into situations that they may be harmed easily. Law is always made keeping in mind the broader public policy implications, rather than a few individuals who may be an exception to the rule. I strongly agree with statutory rape laws. It is not about the age difference, it is about protecting the interests of a minor who is mentally immature to consent.

Edit: I think he got off easy at 6 years. He should have gotten the full sentence of statutory rape in his state.
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
2,268
The laws are in place to protect minors and I agree with them and their necessity.

Not the same but an anecdote that comes to mind: When I was in high school an acquaintance was in a relationship with a man in his 30s. When she turned 18 (high school senior) they were open about their relationship and her parents put an end to it. It was a bit of a local scandal and the man ended up taking a job in another state. She was devastated, and felt it had been a committed serious relationship. By then she was 18 (the age of consent in our area) so it was legal. I remember at the time feeling that their relationship was weird to me but harmless — they were both adults so what was the big deal? It felt to me like other adults were overreacting. Now with the benefit of age and life experience I look back on things that happened and see some really predatory grooming behaviors. My acquaintance was absolutely being taken advantage of. It was unhealthy, unsafe, and I’m glad that her parents and other adults recognized clearly what was happening even though she didn’t. I’m not sure what she’d say about it now. No one wants to feel they’ve been taken advantage of. Still, it was wrong.

That said, I agree with some “Romeo and Juliet” gray area, particularly when the people involved are school peers. In my area even though age of consent is 18 it’s common for high school seniors to range in age from 16-19; students often begin college at 17.

Something similar happened with one of my highschool friends. She was 17 and was dating our 26 year old math teacher. She kept it a secret and switched schools mid semester. Then at 18 she was pregnant and we all found out when he proposed to her.

At the time it seemed weird, but we were like whatever they’re happy so who cares. They had a second child, he went back to school for a PhD and became a university professor.

Guess who still sleeps with students? There are 9 that my friend knows of for sure. All 17-20 so technically legal, but the relationships still feel wrong. Guy in his mid 40’s sleeping with his 17 year old student is beyond creepy.

I don’t know if my friend feels like a victim, but she would be the first to say that her ex husband abused his position to have sex with young women.

Predatory behaviours like this are rarely a one time thing.
 

asscherisme

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 6, 2006
Messages
2,940
I assume you don’t have a 14 year old daughter

This. I have a 22 year old daughter and a 17 year old and the thought of them being with a 30 year old at 14 (or 15, 16, 17, anything underage) is just gross. I don't care if a 14 year old or any other underage girl consents, it is still illegal.

Now there are situations where the statutory law is abused. I read about a case where two girls were one year apart. One age of consent, the other a year under. The parents of the younger girl reported the older girl for statutory rape because they were homophobic and the older girl ended up as a registered sex offender. That broke my heart for the older girl, she did nothing wrong in my opinion. Those girls were both in high school together and in the same stage of life. I think high school relationships where they are basically the same age, just one has crossed over legal and the other has not are VERY different than a full on adult more than a decade older preying on a young girl. And yes, even if it were reversed an a 14 year old boy with a 30 year old women, I would say the same thing.
 

GoldenTouch

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 9, 2018
Messages
268
Yes I believe he should of been punished because he knew her age.

However I do know a man who was lied to by a young lady about her age. He was 21 & she claimed she was 17.
He was a very immature, socially inept computer geek who hardly had any friends & she was a manipulative curvey 14 year old who easily looked 17 with makeup on.
They met online & all their written communication was put before the court where she openly lied about her age many, many times. He honestly didn’t know her age & it only came to light when she fell pregnant.
He got jail time and I don’t disagree with that, but I did feel sorry for him because he was gullible & immature & he has proof she lied about her age.

Sadly we have articles here in the news lately of the rape culture in schools & stories of young girls getting raped & how hard it is for them to prove assault, or if proven the inadequate sentences handed down to the perpetrator.

We need consistency
 

GoldenTouch

Shiny_Rock
Joined
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Messages
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One of the weird parts of the story is that they thought she was taking birth control for acne. She was only 14 years old so how did she get a script and the parents thought it was for acne? Wouldn’t they have an involved in her health care at that point to know? It just seems strange.

From what I have heard from friends who have teenage daughters they are eligible at 14 to have their own Medicare card so the parents wouldn’t necessarily know if they have been to the doctors or family planning. Also doctors would not let parents know for confidentiality reasons.
There are a lot of children who have very good parents who “think they know their child”, but they only go of what they are told or believe to be true.... “my child would never do that....”.
Sadly many lie or their parents just don’t know.
I know my parents didn’t always know what I was up to, not that I was a bad kid... but still
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
10,759
the do-gooder should have probably left it alone and not reported it In less the 30 year old man had a history of targeting young girls
The relationship was over, it had been consensual

But 14 to 30 sounds yucky and i agree with what where the parents of the 14 year old thinking allowing this relationship?

Here the age of concent is 16

In high school one of our freinds got pregnant to her boyfriend at 15, the boyfreind had just turned 16
they had been boyfreind and girlfriend for at least a year maybe 2
The girl's father did not press charges aganist the boy

This was in the 80's - it might be different now

i have a 19 year age diffetence between me and Gary, but being 30 and 49 is a completly different point to start a relationship than when one partner is underage with such a big age difference
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 22, 2014
Messages
5,170
Society has rules / laws designed to prevent others from harm. These rules / laws still apply whether the harm was intentional or not (as an adult you are required to be responsible for your actions) and/or resulted in actual harm.
If you drive way over the speed limit is it ok if there are no other cars nearby?
If you are unconscious, drunk or under the influence of drugs is it alright for someone to sexually assault you because you didn’t/ don’t say no?
Whether or not the 30 year old man was deserving of a lengthy jail sentence for having a consensual relationship with a 14 year old is debatable but the law is what it is, the punishment is what it is. If a 30 year old man thinks it appropriate to commence a sexual relationship with a child, he is wrong, he is knowingly breaking the law.
 

Mreader

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
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“From what I have heard from friends who have teenage daughters they are eligible at 14 to have their own Medicare card so the parents wouldn’t necessarily know if they have been to the doctors or family planning.Also doctors would not let parents know for confidentiality reasons. “

I’m not sure this is true. Maybe it varies by state but I know in my state you cannot go to the doctor alone if you are under the age of consent.
 

Gussie

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 20, 2017
Messages
3,175
“From what I have heard from friends who have teenage daughters they are eligible at 14 to have their own Medicare card so the parents wouldn’t necessarily know if they have been to the doctors or family planning.Also doctors would not let parents know for confidentiality reasons. “

I’m not sure this is true. Maybe it varies by state but I know in my state you cannot go to the doctor alone if you are under the age of consent.

In Texas, it is true only if the minor goes to planned parenthood. They may not get a prescription for bc from their pediatrician without parental consent.
 

GoldenTouch

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 9, 2018
Messages
268
I googled: “In Australia , the age at which a young person is able to consent to simple health care treatments without involving a parent or guardian is around 14 years.”

A Medicare card is 15.
 

yennyfire

Ideal_Rock
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6,680
I wholeheartedly agree. A 14 year old may think he or she is in love and may believe they are giving consent. But as an adult that is 30 years old and 16 years the senior, they should be making the right choice which is to abstain from having sexual relations with a child.

But, I do think that things get a bit murky when it comes to a 21 year old having a relationship with a 17 year old.

This exactly. As the mother of a 14 year old daughter, I can tell you that she may think she’s an adult but she is not, as is clearly evidenced by the choices she makes. A 30 year old is an adult who needs to set boundaries where a child isn’t able to. As for the 17 year old and 21 year old, that’s a slippery slope and I’m honestly not sure how I feel. Of course, the other scenario not yet addressed here is 14-15 year old girls with 17-18 year old boys. Another slippery slope, as I have both a 14 year old daughter and a 16 year old son. At this age, I think there’s a huge variation in maturity that somehow needs to be evaluated before making decisions in these cases (I don’t know how, just saying my daughter and her friends are often as mature as my son and his friends who are 2 years older)...
 
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Jambalaya

Ideal_Rock
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One of the weird parts of the story is that they thought she was taking birth control for acne. She was only 14 years old so how did she get a script and the parents thought it was for acne? Wouldn’t they have an involved in her health care at that point to know? It just seems strange.

Doctors do write Pill scripts for teenagers who are struggling with acne. There's one Pill which is known for its ability to clear up acne. Can't remember its name. Perhaps I described the process wrong above. I think the daughter asked her mother if she could go on that one for her acne, and she said yes. The mother attended the appt with her. The doc and her parents thought it was for her acne - which she did have.
 

Jambalaya

Ideal_Rock
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Victims oftentimes blame themselves for the abuse and have a deep sense of shame. As was mentioned before, Stockholm Syndrome is present for a lot of victims. Your friend could be hiding her unfounded self blame and shame by presenting the relationship as "happy"?

God, I hope not.
 

Jambalaya

Ideal_Rock
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Predatory behaviours like this are rarely a one time thing.

Replying to your whole post....wow, that's insane. Just so yucky and awful.

Actually, a student and teacher got together at my school, too. It was quite a scandal. I wish I could remember how old she was when it happened, but I don't. She was under 18, anyway. She can't have been under the age of consent (16) otherwise surely he'd have been prosecuted, because everyone knew. She was two years older than me, and he was my homeroom teacher and French teacher. Anyway, it's 32 years later and they're still together, and have a family. It was a weird time.

I was also remembering my old friend Penny, who was in my class. Penny always seemed MUCH older than the rest of us. When we were 15, after we got back from summer vacation, she told us how she'd lost her virginity to this older guy, and had told him she was 16. I'm not sure of his age, but looking back, I think he was around mid-20s. (I saw a photo.)

But that's not the most scandalous part. That fall, when she and I were 15 (turning 16 in fall and early winter respectively), our class did mini-internships for a week. She did hers at a local law firm. And she slept with a lawyer who was in his mid-to-late thirties. And he was a criminal prosecutor!

At the time, neither of these incidents set off any alarm bells. I hadn't even had my first kiss, and didn't have a real boyfriend till college. The internet was years into the future, and I had never heard the term "statutory rape." I didn't know the men had committed crimes. It was all 32 years ago, and I don't remember much about what I felt regarding this friend's relationships with older men. I think I basically thought, "I don't understand that - old men, ew - but whatever."

But now, it seems so crazy to me that these men, when offered the chanced to sleep with a 15-year-old, are all, "OK then!" How very disappointing. You'd like to believe that they would pack her off back to her family with stern instructions to get to a therapist. There is NO WORLD in which I would have said yes if a 15-year-old boy had come on to me when I was 30. No way!
 

Ionysis

Brilliant_Rock
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I may be accused of having a generally low opinion of men but I think there are many who simply never say no to sex - as long as they think they can get away with it. Age / marriage / common decency notwithstanding.
 

Jambalaya

Ideal_Rock
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Of course, the other scenario not yet addressed here is 14-15 year old girls with 17-18 year old boys.

Some states address this. They're named the Romeo and Juliet laws. Basically, some states allow for relationships as you described above that are close in age. The acceptable age gap varies widely. (I saw a chart when I was googling this issue.) Mostly it's 2-3 years, but CA is 10, and Kentucky is 5.

Some states have no Romeo and Juliet laws, which means that in the scenario you point out above, the legal adult who is 16 and has slept with a girl who is, say, 15 and 11 months, can be prosecuted exactly the same as if he was decades older than her.

If your state has no Romeo and Juliet laws, you might want to make your son aware of that - especially if the age of consent is 18 where you live. Because if he is 18 and has a 17-year-old girlfriend - which is a very common and normal situation - then he would potentially be leaving himself open to prosecution by her parents or anyone else. I don't think it has to be PIV sex, either. In my state, people can be prosecuted under statutory rape for oral sex, too.
 

Jambalaya

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I may be accused of having a generally low opinion of men but I think there are many who simply never say no to sex - as long as they think they can get away with it. Age / marriage / common decency notwithstanding.

I don't want to think that way about the majority of men, either, but it seems that there are so many who would not turn it down no matter if the girl is 14 or 15, no matter that he stands to lose absolutely everything. Especially that lawyer, who really knew the risks. To lose his livelihood, in turn his house, probably, his spouse/partner if any, the love and respect of his family and community, to go to jail....all for a few minutes of the old in-and-out. REALLY??? That makes no sense. If they really want younger girls they could do it legally, since 16 is still pretty young. It's still ewww and grosss morally, but they wouldn't be risking the destruction of their whole lives and the full weight of the law crashing down on them. Why do these men DO it? I'm not going to mention morals because clearly, these men don't care about any effect on the girls, so that's a moot point. Maybe for them it's about getting away with something more than it's about the actual sex. If it was simply the sex, they'd date exactly at the age of consent in order to avoid any trouble. Maybe they get off on having committed a crime.

I think we need more nuanced laws that keep certain inappropriate age groups well apart, and encourage similar-in-age groups to socialise. For example, an 18 yo woman can't sleep with a man who's 45, but she can sleep with a 17-year-old boy who's six months younger than her. It's crazy that it's legal for a 16 yo girl to sleep with a man of 45 or 55. If we raised the age of consent AND the age of majority to 21, we could create so many more ways to protect children for longer.
 

Jambalaya

Ideal_Rock
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Catmom, I read your post before it was deleted. I'm not blaming her. I'm saying how awful it is that the men who were invited by her to proceed did just that, instead of packing her off home to her family and advising therapy. If a girl who is under the age of consent comes on to a man, and he says "No way!" and sends her packing, along with advice to get to a therapist, how has any crime been committed? It would have been a reaction beyond reproach. (Where I come from, to send someone packing or to pack them off back to their family, or to bundle them back to their family, doesn't involve actual packs and bags or that anyone has been staying with someone, physically. They're figures of speech that mean to firmly, strongly advise going back to your home and your family.

So if a female student asked a male teacher out on a Friday night after school, he might say to her, "Don't you need to get back home to your family? You're too young to be out at night in this town. You're 14. The school bus will be here soon. I'll call your parents to make sure you got home safely and to tell about the homework that you have this weekend." That's how you send someone packing, back to their home and family. I think you might have misunderstood my idioms.

And I didn't body-shame. I've only just realized that when I wrote how much more mature she was then the rest of us, you thought I was talking about breast development etc. Hell, no! Penny was very cultured for her age. She played the double-bass, wore silk dresses, went to operas, drink champagne out of champagne coupes at our parties, and was just an all-round bright, intelligent sophisticate, compared to the rest of us who still had our stuffed animals. My comment about maturity wasn't about her body in the least. I remember seeing her walking along the street wearing this wafty chiffon number and holding her 1930 wineglass, looking as if she was at least 30.

I think I expressed above how appalled I am at the men who accept those advances.
 

thecatmom

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Catmom, I read your post before it was deleted. I'm not blaming her. I'm saying how awful it is that the men who were invited by her to proceed did just that, instead of packing her off home to her family and advising therapy. If a girl who is under the age of consent comes on to a man, and he says "No way!" and sends her packing, along with advice to get to a therapist, how has any crime been committed? It would have been a reaction beyond reproach. (Where I come from, to send someone packing or to pack them off back to their family, or to bundle them back to their family, doesn't involve actual packs and bags or that anyone has been staying with someone, physically. They're figures of speech that mean to firmly, strongly advise going back to your home and your family.

So if a female student asked a male teacher out on a Friday night after school, he might say to her, "Don't you need to get back home to your family? You're too young to be out at night in this town. You're 14. The school bus will be here soon. I'll call your parents to make sure you got home safely and to tell about the homework that you have this weekend." That's how you send someone packing, back to their home and family. I think you might have misunderstood my idioms.

And I didn't body-shame. I've only just realized that when I wrote how much more mature she was then the rest of us, you thought I was talking about breast development etc. Hell, no! Penny was very cultured for her age. She played the double-bass, wore silk dresses, went to operas, drink champagne out of champagne coupes at our parties, and was just an all-round bright, intelligent sophisticate, compared to the rest of us who still had our stuffed animals. My comment about maturity wasn't about her body in the least. I remember seeing her walking along the street wearing this wafty chiffon number and holding her 1930 wineglass, looking as if she was at least 30.

I think I expressed above how appalled I am at the men who accept those advances.

A child wearing silk dresses is not asking for it. A child drinking is not asking for it. A child asking for it is also not asking for it.

Your assumption is that a child went to an unassuming, innocent adult and asked for sexual relationship, and the poor, innocent, unassuming adult had sex with the child, and now everyone is blaming the adult? Heck, lets just say it. WE ARE BLAMING MEN FOR RAPE?? *GASP* HOW DARE WE?? The child must have looked 30 in her silk dress. The child must have forced the adult, because men aren't capable of rape. It is always the children and women asking for it with their dresses and their alcohol.

BRAVO! SALUT! *APPLAUSE*
 
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