For the purposes of age of consent, the only provision applicable is . This most likely reflects Congressional intent not to unduly interfere with a state's age-of-consent law, which would have been the case if the age was set to 18 under all circumstances. Although legislation tends to reflect general societal attitudes regarding male versus female ages of consent, Richard Posner notes in his Guide to America's Sex Laws: The U. Supreme Court has held that stricter rules for males do not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution, on the theory that men lack the disincentives (associated with pregnancy) that women have, to engage in sexual activity, and the law may thus provide men with those disincentives in the form of criminal sanctions. In most states there is not a single age in which a person may consent, but rather consent varies depending upon the minimum age of the younger party, the minimum age of the older party, or the differences in age. Even though state laws regarding the general age of consent and age gap laws differ, it is common for people in the United States to assume that sexual activity with someone under 18 is statutory rape. 18-3-402, the crime of sexual assault upon a child by a person in a position of trust, C. This crime carries a sentence of 25 years to life, and lifetime probation thereafter.
2243(a) refers to situations where such younger person is under the age of 16 years, has attained 12 years of age, and the older person is more than 4 years older than the 12-to-15-year-old (persons under 12 are handled under 18 U. In 2011 Smith and Kercher wrote "Because of the large number of potential statutory rape cases, it is said that many jurisdictions will "pick and choose" which cases they want to investigate and prosecute." In some states it is common to only prosecute the male in events where both parties in a heterosexual relationship are below the age of consent. There is a marriage exception to both Colorado's statutory rape law, C. However, if the victim is 13, 14 or 15 years old, the actor is 18 or younger and within 4 years of age, and the act committed was "sodomy" and did not cause injury, the crime is reduced to a misdemeanor.
After the 1995 Landry and Forrest study concluded that men aged 20 and older produced half of the teenage pregnancies of girls between 15 and 17, states began to more stringently enforce age-of-consent laws to combat teenage pregnancy in addition to prevent adults from taking advantage of minors. Kercher of the Criminal Justice Center of Sam Houston State University wrote that these laws are often referred to as "Romeo and Juliet laws", though they defined Romeo and Juliet as only referring to an affirmative defense against prosecution. The United States Department of Justice seems to agree with this interpretation. Within the United States, United States servicemembers are further subject to the local state law both when off-post. The age of consent in the District of Columbia is 16 with a close-in-age exemption for those within four years of age. population resides in states which have ages of consent as 16 or 17. For repeat offenders, the minimum 10 years and the maximum is life imprisonment.
By 1920 ages of consent generally rose to 16-18 and small adjustments to these laws occurred after 1920. From 2005 onwards states have started to enact Jessica's Law statutes, which provide for lengthy penalties (often a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and lifetime electronic monitoring) for the most aggravated forms of child sexual abuse (usually of a child under age 12). Louisiana, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the death penalty for rape of a child was unconstitutional. Consensual sexual intercourse over the 3-year age difference (where the minor is 13 to 15 years old) would subject the older party to a charge of Sexual Assault, 2nd Degree, in violation of C. This offense carries a minimum sentence of 1 year in prison, and a maximum of 20 years.
As of 2015 the final state to raise its age of general consent was Hawaii, which changed it from 14 to 16 in 2001. forbids the use of the United States Postal Service or other interstate or foreign means of communication, such as telephone calls or use of the internet, to persuade or entice a minor (defined as under 18 throughout the chapter) to be involved in a criminal sexual act. § 2260) makes it a federal crime to possess or create sexually explicit images of any person under 18 years of age; this creates a federal age of consent of 18 for pornography. If the offender is 21 years of age or older, the minimum is raised to 10 years in prison, and the offender is subject to sex offender sentencing guidelines.
Until the late 20th century many states had provisions requiring that the teenage girl must be of previous "chaste character" in order for the sexual conduct to be considered criminal. The act has to be illegal under state or federal law to be charged with a crime under 2422(b), and can even be applied to situations where both parties reside within the same state but use an instant messenger program whose servers are located in another state. Thus, while some conduct covered by the statute is highly culpable, these penalties apply even when consensual sex between someone under the age of eighteen and someone over the age of eighteen is entirely legal under state law, the non-commercial possession of an explicit picture or video clip of the person under the age of eighteen (such as a cell phone photograph of a naked sexual partner, under the age of eighteen, of the person taking the photo) may still constitute a serious federal child pornography felony. § 2251 (such as taking a suggestive cell phone picture of an otherwise legal sexual partner under the age of eighteen without an intent to share or sell the picture), face fines and a statutory minimum of 15 years to 30 years maximum in prison. However, if any of the following apply, then the age of consent becomes 18: However consensual, sexual intercourse within the 3-year age difference by a minor 13 through 17 years old may, upon a complaint, lead the Connecticut Superior Court to a "family with service needs" finding. However, if the victim is 14 or 15 years old and the actor is age 18 or younger and within 4 years of the victim's age, the crime is reduced to a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison.
In 1998 Mississippi became the last state to remove this provision from its code. forbids transporting a minor (defined as under 18) in interstate or foreign commerce with the intent of engaging in criminal sexual acts in which a person can be charged. The sentence for a first time offender convicted of producing child pornography under 18 U. While mandatory minimum offenses do not apply to mere possession of child pornography, it is almost always the case that a person in possession of child pornography is also necessarily guilty of either receipt of child pornography, which carries a five-year mandatory minimum sentence, or production of child pornography, which carries a fifteen-year mandatory minimum sentence. Sessions, the Supreme Court held that in the context of statutory rape offenses that criminalize sexual intercourse based solely on the ages of the participants, the generic federal definition of "sexual abuse of a minor" requires the age of the victim to be less than 16. § 920), to which essentially only members of the United States Armed Services and enemy prisoners of war are subject, defines the age of consent as sixteen years in subsection but allows an exemption for people who are married to minors 12–15 years old. The crime "child molestation" makes it illegal for anyone to engage in "any immoral or indecent act to or in the presence of or with any child under the age of 16 years with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the person," as well as electronically transmit any depiction of such an act.