The age of consent can vary among states, and some states differentiate between consensual sex between minors who are close in age for example, two teenagers of the same age , as opposed to sex between a minor and a much older adult. Though statutory rape does not require that the prosecutor prove an assault, it is still rape. Of course, rape that does involve force or an assault is illegal in Pennsylvania and prosecuted as forcible rape. Penalties depend on the ages of the defendant and victim, and the conduct that occurred, as described below.
Rape includes sexual intercourse including genital, oral, or anal penetration, however slight with a minor who is younger than 13 years old. This offense is a first degree felony. Statutory sexual assault includes sexual intercourse including genital, oral, or anal penetration, however slight with a child who 13, 14, or 15, when:.
Pennsylvania Age of Consent Lawyers
Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse includes oral sex, anal sex, or genital or anal penetration with an object between a minor who is younger than 13 and a defendant of any age. It also includes minors who are 13, 14, or 15 when the defendant is at least four years older than the victim. Aggravated indecent assault includes genital or anal penetration however slight with a body part, between a minor who is younger than 13 and a defendant of any age.
This offense is a second degree felony. Indecent assault includes any sexual or intimate touching for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire. It is also a criminal offense in Pennsylvania for teachers, other school employees, and school volunteers to engage in sexual activity with school students who are under the care and control of the defendant. State law requires—in addition to the applicable fines and prison time—that people convicted of certain instances of statutory rape must register as sex offenders.
Minors are legally incapable of giving consent to having sex; so for example, if Jen, who is 15 years old, willingly has sex with Tony, her year-old boyfriend, Tony can face criminal charges, since Jen is not legally capable of giving consent in the first place. But if Jen and Tony are married and living in Pennsylvania, Tony need not fear criminal charges for having consensual sex with Jen. The marital defense is a remnant of the marital rape exemption. However, if Tony were to rape Jen force her to have sex against her will , he would have no protection under the law even if the two are married.
Pennsylvania’s Statutory Rape Laws and Potential Penalties
In Pennsylvania, there is a Romeo and Juliet exemption that prevents the prosecution of consensual sexual acts between a minor who is 13 or older and a defendant who is less than four years older. However, sexual contact with a child younger than 13 is always a serious crime, no matter the age of the defendant. A conviction for sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 13 can result in as many as 40 years in prison. Defendants accused of statutory rape often claim that they had no reason to know that their partner was underage.
They may argue that the child said that he or she was of age, and that a reasonable person would have believed it. Unlike in most states, in Pennsylvania mistake of age can sometimes be a defense.
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