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Dating consent laws

Although your case makes statutory rape laws seem arbitrary, a story from one of our readers illustrates why the law might protect someone underage from being exploited.

Dear Panel, My younger brother got involved in a serious relationship when he was 17. The relationship progressed and he (obviously) turned 18 and she 16. – Scared Sister female, age 21, Texas, USA She or anyone else can press charges against him for statutory rape because the age of consent in Texas is 17.

For example, California, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, and New York reserve their harshest statutory rape penalty for offenders who are age 21 or older.

We have our birthdays on the same day which is March 25. Can anyone besides her call Statutory Rape on me including her parents?

Dear Reader, We've received more questions about statutory rape concerning age-gap distinctions, so I'll try to answer what I didn't cover in the previous article on statutory rape. Dear Panel, If a minor has sex with a minor – for example: a 17 year guy having sex with a 17 year old girl – is that statutory rape since they are both of "legal" age to have sex?

– Ashley female, age 17, USA Dear Ashley, If both people having consensual sex are the same age, it's not statutory rape.

Thus, instead of including force as a criminal element, theses crimes make it illegal for anyone to engage in sexual intercourse with anyone below a certain age, other than his spouse.

The age of consent varies by state, with most states, including Connecticut, setting it at age 16.

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