Age of consent is the age at which a person chooses to take part in sexual activity without it being considered statutory rape. However, some states have lower ages of consent under certain circumstances. For example, in Iowa a person may consent to sex at age 14 provided their partner is no more than 48 months older.
Most statutory rape laws exist to punish an adult who takes sexual advantage of a minor, not to punish two people close in age who have consensual sex. This means an adult who is only a couple of years older than the minor may not be charged with statutory rape or be punished as harshly as a much older adult.
These close-in-age exemption laws, sometimes known as Romeo and Juliet laws, may reduce the severity of the offense from a felony to a misdemeanor; reduce the penalty to a fine, probation or community service; and eliminate the requirement that the convicted adult register as a sex offender. Punishment depends on state law.
For example, in New Jersey, the age of consent is 16, but individuals who are 13 or older may legally engage in sexual activity if their partner is less than four years older than they are. In California, it's a misdemeanor to have sex with someone younger than 18 if the offender is less than three years older, while someone more than three years older could be charged with a felony. Even for states with a single age of consent, there may be exceptions. Clipperton Island is an uninhabited nine-square-kilometre approx. The laws of France where applicable apply. The age of consent used to be 15, but it was increased in recent years after legal reform.
The age of consent in Cuba is For children prosecution only takes place upon a "complaint" by the minor, his parents, teacher, or the guardianship board. The age of consent in the Dominican Republic is In El Salvador , the age of consent appears to be 18 although the laws are not clear cut in regard to sexual acts with persons aged between 15 and Article makes it illegal to "promote, facilitate, manage, finance, instigate or organize in any way the use of persons under eighteen years of age in sexual or erotic acts individually or organized, publicly or privately".
Similarly, anyone who knowingly authorizes the use or rents a property to perform any of the activities described in the preceding paragraph, incurs criminal liability. Article makes it illegal to "promote or facilitate the corruption of a person under eighteen Anyone who performs or makes others perform acts of lewd or lascivious exhibition, or indecency in a public place or a place open to the public or to minors under eighteen years of age or mentally handicapped, shall be punished with imprisonment from two to four years.
The laws of Denmark, where applicable, apply. The age of consent in Grenada is Penalties are 30 years' imprisonment if the victim is less than 14, and 15 years' imprisonment if the victim is 14 to 16 years of age.
The Law against Sexual Violence, Exploitation, and Trafficking in Persons was passed in February , and provides sentences ranging from 13 to 24 years in prison, depending on the young persons age, for sex with a minor. The age of consent in Haiti is Honduras , the age of consent is considered to be The stupor of a person older than fourteen 14 and under eighteen 18 years taking advantage of trust, hierarchy or authority, is punishable by six 6 to eight 8 years of imprisonment.
In the United States, age of consent laws regarding sexual activity are made at the state level. The law also allows a defense if the actor is within 4 years of age of the younger person and the two were in an ongoing dating/romantic. Additionally, all the states have "Estupro" laws that can, upon complaint of the family (or minor), be used to prosecute adults who.
When rape is committed by deception is punishable by five 5 to seven 7 years of imprisonment. The sexual intercourse with parents or children, brothers, or relationship between adopter and adopted, with stepparent, when the victim is over eighteen 18 years constitutes the crime of incest, will be punished with four 4 to six 6 years of imprisonment and shall proceed under complaint by the injured party or his legal representative.
Whoever for sexual character and by force, intimidation or deceit abducts or retains a person shall be punished by imprisonment of four 4 to six 6 years. In Mexico , criminal legislation is shared between the federal and state governments. The federal law establishes the age of 12 as the minimum age of consent, while the age at which there are no restrictions for consensual sexual activities is 18 sex with someone is not illegal per se , but can still be open to prosecution under certain circumstances. Local state laws may override the federal law.
In practice, the decision as to whether or not to prosecute is left to state authorities regardless of the younger person's age. At state level, the minimum ages of consent vary between 12 and puberty in a few states and 15, while the age at which there are no restrictions for consensual sexual activities vary from 16 to 18 most common Estupro is a crime existing across Mexico, as well as in other Latin American jurisdictions. For instance the law of Aguascalientes reads: Traditionally, estupro applied only to acts committed with a girl, and required "chastity" or "honesty" of the girl.
The vast majority of Mexican states have modernized their laws by removing the requirement of "chastity" or "honesty" and by making the laws gender neutral. However, traditional laws still exist in some states: All states but Baja California have removed the requirement of "chastity" or "honesty" and the definition of estupro as applicable only to girls.
The exact type of coercion that must be used varies by state, for example the Federal Law only makes reference to "deceit", omitting "seduction" it reads: If the offender uses moral or physical violence, an extra half term is added to the initial time. Article refers to the previous article , which covers the rape of adults in general and establishes a term of 8 to 14 years in prison for sex obtained through physical or moral violence.
Article then states that: The 3rd Clause of this article punishes with the same penalties also "the vaginal or anal introduction of objects, without violence and with lascivious goals", in a person under 12 or in a person that has no capacity of understanding the meaning of the fact, or for any reason cannot resist. If any of the aforementioned acts is performed with physical or moral violence, the sentence is raised in up to a half. A further article, Bis, determines an extra penalty of up to a half under certain circumstances — a when there are multiple offenders; b when the offense is committed by a parent, legal guardian, stepfather or "companion" amasio of the mother; c when there is an abuse of authority of someone as a civil servant ; d when the crime is committed by a person who has the minor under his or her custody , guard or education, or yet through the abuse of trust.
There is another crime in Article for consented sex with adolescents aged 12 to 18, when consent is obtained through deceit. The penalty is 3 months to 4 years in prison. Article prohibits the "corruption" of a minor under All Mexican states as well as Mexico City have corruption of minors statutes that can, upon complaint of the family or minor , be used to punish sexual relations with persons under eighteen.
Although actual prosecutions for violations of Corruption of Minors statutes and age of consent statutes in general tend to be sporadic, regional, and very situation dependent, many Mexican states nonetheless classify Corruption of Minors as a "Delito Grave" Major Crime in their penal codes. Additionally, all the states have "Estupro" laws that can, upon complaint of the family or minor , be used to prosecute adults who engage in sexual intercourse with minors by seduction or deceit the exact definitions of this crime vary by state, see section estupro , above.
In some Mexican jurisdictions prosecutors have chosen to prosecute consensual sexual activity involving adults and underage minors only upon complaint by the minor, or a custodial complaint. The age of consent in the Federal District Mexico City is 12, one of the lowest in the world, and the overall criminal legislation of Mexico's capital is close to that of the federal law regarding this subject, although tougher in some aspects — higher penalties and broader definitions. Article of the Federal District Criminal Code refers to the previous Article , which stipulates a term of 6 to 17 years of prison for the rape of adults, while defining copulation as "the introduction of the penis in the human body through the vagina, anus or mouth".
Article covers " sexual abuse " and punishes other acts referred as "unintentional" acts —"who without purpose of reaching copulation, performs a sexual act with a person under 12 or a person that has no capacity of understanding the meaning of the act or that for any reason cannot resist it, or that demands that such act is observed or performed, will be punished with 2 to 7 years in prison".
In both Articles and , there is an extra half term in case of physical or moral violence. And according to Article , there is also a punishment of an extra two thirds of the term under the same circumstances foreseen in Article Bis of the Federal Law see above , added by two new circumstances — clause V when the victim is inside a private vehicle or a public service vehicle ; and clause VI when the crime is committed in a desert or isolated place. There is a crime called estupro stipulated in Article , which refers to consented sex with adolescents aged 12 to 18, when consent is obtained through any means of deceit.
The penalty is 6 months to 4 years of prison. This crime needs a complaint querella to be prosecuted. There is a Corruption of Minors statute Article that can be used to punish by imprisonment, for seven to twelve years, adults who engage in sexual relations with persons under eighteen.
This situation exists all over Mexico, and can be prosecuted upon complaint of victim or the victim's family. The age of consent in Montserrat is In Nicaragua , the age of consent is 18, although, in regard to young people , the law Article is not clear cut. Anyone who is married or in a stable de facto union or who is of age and who, without violence or intimidation , has or allows carnal access with a person aged between 14 and 16 shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of two to four years.
Anyone who induces, provides, promotes or uses persons aged under 16 or a disabled person for sexual or erotic purposes , forcing them to witness or participate in an act or show in public or in private, even if the victim consents to witness or participate in such an act, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of five to seven years, or four to six years if the victim is aged between 16 and Anyone who has or allows carnal access with a person aged under 14 or who, for sexual purposes, inserts or forces the victim to insert a finger, object or instrument, by way of the vagina, anus or mouth, with or without consent , shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of 12 to 15 years.
Anyone who engages in lewd acts with or improper touching of another person, without their consent, In no circumstances shall the victim be considered to have given consent if the victim is under the age of 14 or has a mental disability or illness. In Panama , the age of consent is in general 18, although sexual conduct with children aged 14 to 18 is not always illegal. Whoever, using a condition of advantage, achieves sexual intercourse with a person over fourteen and under eighteen , even with consent, shall be punished with imprisonment from two to four years.
This does not apply if the age difference is less than 5-years and the partners are in a stable couple relationship. The sanctions provided in this article do not apply if there is a couple relationship duly established between the victim and the agent, and the age difference does not exceed five years. The age of consent in Puerto Rico is There is a 4-year close-in-age exception subject to a minimum age of The age of consent in Saint Kitts and Nevis is The age of consent in Saint Lucia is The age of consent in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is The age of consent in Sint Maarten is 15, as specified by the Criminal Code of the Netherlands Antilles which Sint Maarten did not change after the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles , Articles , which reads:.
Prosecution for the violation of the above article only takes place upon a "complaint" by the minor, his parents, teacher, or the guardianship board Art , 2.
If the victim is, in fact, over the age of 12, and the offender reasonably believed that he or she was 16 or older, then this fact is a valid defense and the military member will not be punished. Being charged with the crime of having sex with an under aged minor is a very serious matter.
These reports are incorrect. The crime of " statutory rape " makes it illegal for a perpetrator of any age to have sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 16 that they are not married to. The following are just a few examples of Romeo and Juliet laws currently in place in the United States: Archived from the original on 13 October Georgia law, which has since been changed to classify this act as a misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of one year in prison, also required Wilson to register as a sex offender when he was released. It will be punishable with ten 10 to fifteen 15 years of imprisonment. According to state laws, a sexual act is considered rape if the victim is a student between 16 and 18 years of age and the suspect is an employee of the student's school system.
The punishment for this crime is much more severe in the military courts than in the United States criminal courts. Can't find your category? Speeding and Moving Violations. Please provide a location and choose a category. Link to this page: