Although a common charge for those in their twenties and thirties, statutory rape offenses can be charged against anyone 18 years of age or older who engages in any type of sexual act with a minor. There are countless situations in which persons accused of committing statutory rape are completely unaware that they engaged in sexual acts with a minor. Regardless, those who are convicted can be ordered to spend time in jail, pay thousands of dollars in fines, and register for inclusion on California’s sex offender registry.
At MacGregor & Collins, LLP, a skilled Orange County sexual assault defense lawyer can help you better understand your charges as well as any options you may have available. By taking advantage of a free consultation, you may receive information about statutory rape charges that could greatly affect your case outcome. Call or fill out our contact form to speak with an attorney about your case for free.
Statutory Rape Defined
The phrase statutory rape is a general term used to describe non-forcible sexual relations that take place when an individual (regardless of age or gender) has sexual relations with an individual not old enough to legally consent to the behavior. Although it usually refers to adults engaging in sex with minors under the age of consent, the age at which individuals are considered competent to give consent to sexual conduct, it is a generic term, and very few jurisdictions use the actual term “statutory rape” in the language of statutes.
Different jurisdictions use many different statutory terms and penal codes for the crime, such as “sexual assault,” “rape of a child,” “corruption of a minor,” “carnal knowledge of a minor,” or simply “carnal knowledge.” Statutory rape differs from forcible rape in that overt force or threat need not be present. The laws presume coercion, because a minor or mentally retarded adult is legally incapable of giving consent to the act.
Statutory rape is illegal sexual activity between two people when it would otherwise be legal if not for their age: In accordance with the FBI definition, statutory rape is characterized as non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is younger than the statutory age of consent.
The term statutory rape generally refers to sex between an adult and a sexually mature minor past the age of puberty. Sexual relations with a prepubescent child, generically called “child molestation,” are uniformly treated as a more serious crime.
Maximum Penalties for Statutory Rape Violations
In California, statutory rape violations can be charged as felony or misdemeanor offenses, depending upon a variety of different factors. The following are maximum penalties for those facing statutory rape charges in Orange County, California:
- Informal probation
- A year in county jail
- Up to $1,000.00 in fines
- Four years in California state prison
- Up to $10,000.00 in fines
Those facing charges for rape of a minor in California are encouraged to contact our law offices for a free case evaluation. You can receive a consultation for up to one hour. A MacGregor & Collins, LLP legal professional can help guide you through this process and help you better understand the charges that have been brought against you. Call 888-250-2865 to get help now.