Statutory law and dating minors

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.Statutory rape laws are premised on the assumption that minors are incapable of giving informed consent to sexual activities.Their incapacity is written into the statute—hence the term, “statutory” rape.

For example, a state might set the age of consent at 18.

However, this age of consent varies widely from state to state.

Statutory rape is a strict liability crime, meaning that the consent of the younger person or mistake about their age is not a defense.

Federal law makes it criminal to engage in a sexual act with another person who is between the age of 12 and 16 if they are at least four years younger than you.

Each state takes a different approach as the age of consent has ranged from 10 to 18.

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