Statutory rape happens when someone is having sex with a person who is under the age of 18. The perpetrator is going to be prosecuted and will be looking at a felony on their record, along with potentially having to register as a sex offender. Where it starts to get tricky is when two parties have sex and are both under the age of 18. This is a situation that causes problems for prosecutors and a lot of times, they just don’t prosecute those cases, unless there is a huge age gap.

Often, I see these statutory rape cases popping up after someone gets pregnant. They have the child and the hospitals actually remove the father they were going to put on the birth certificate. The hospital can see that the person is under the age of 18, so they have a duty to contact the authorities. The parents give them information about who impregnated the minor and now the person is looking at a statutory rape charge. Another situation I see is when parents find out that their underage children are having sex with someone who is over the age of 18 and they contact the authorities.

Will The State Of California Look At Any Exceptions To Statutory Rape Based On The Relationship Between Two Young People Close In Age?

The prosecutors have the ultimate decision of whether or not to charge a statutory rape case. I have seen a lot of cases that would technically be statutory rape not filed because of the close ages of the two persons involved and because the sexual relationship is consensual. Of course, the younger the victim is and the larger the age gap is, the more likely it is that the prosecutors will file a statutory rape case. I do not see many cases filed where both parties are under the age of 18, unless one party is clearly taking advantage of the other party because there is a large age gap between the two. Then, the case will be filed in the juvenile court.

Does It Matter If The Young People Are Of The Same Gender In A Statutory Rape Charge In Los Angeles County?

For the purposes of a statutory rape charge, there has to be some sort of penetrative sex between the two parties. Even if a statutory rape case couldn’t be filed, the prosecutors can charge you with other crimes related to people touching someone under the age of 18. If someone is taking advantage of or having some sort of sexual contact with someone under the age of 18, the prosecutors have the authority and the ability to charge them with a serious sexual offense, regardless of gender.

What Are Some Potential Defenses To Statutory Rape Charges?

The main defense, when it comes to statutory rape, is that one party believed that the other party was 18 years or older. Maybe it was a one night stand and the alleged victim looks like they’re over 18 years old or even represented themselves as 18 or years or older. I’ve had cases where the person even showed a fake I.D. to my client and the prosecutor still filed charges. The task is whether you knew or reasonably should have known that the person you were engaging in sex with was under the age of 18. A lot of times, that’s going to be judged by the surrounding circumstances and common sense.

What Are The Potential Penalties Associated With A Statutory Rape Conviction In California?

You can get a punishment of probation and no jail time for a conviction of statutory rape or you could be sent to prison, or to county jail. It depends on a whole host of different factors. Your attorney is going to negotiate with the prosecutors prior to you entering a guilty or no contest plea. You’re going to know before then exactly what your punishment is going to be.

There can be other certain terms and conditions, like having to do some sort of sex education course or community service. They can also make you register as a sex offender during the probationary period. The point of holding you responsible and accountable is to try to protect young people from individuals who are taking advantage of them when they’re too young to consent.

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