Statutory Rape

What Is Statutory Rape?

Statutory Rape is the charge for having sexual intercourse with a person under the age of sixteen (16) where there is no force or physical threat used. In the eyes of the law, any person under the age of sixteen (16) is a minor and is not legally capable of giving consent. The law does not care if the sixteen year old has a relationship with the person or encouraged the sexual act.

Can Someone Who Is Seventeen Be Charged With Statutory Rape Even If The Pair Engages In Consensual Sexual Intercourse And The Victim Is Fifteen?

Yes. It is important to keep in mind that consent is NEVER a defense to statutory rape.

What Does The Government Have To Prove To Get A Conviction For Statutory Rape?

The Government has to prove that the victim is under the age of sixteen and that sexual intercourse occurred. Massachusetts law does not require that the Commonwealth prove complete penetration—any penetration, however slight, will suffice. Also, a finger or any foreign object can be used to effect the penetration.

When Are These Types Of Cases Prosecuted

The closer the gap in the age between the couple the less likely that the case will be prosecuted. For example, if the defendant is thirty and the alleged victim is thirteen, the case will likely be prosecuted even if the coupling was consensual. However, if the alleged victim is fifteen and the defendant is sixteen the prosecutors may look at the case more closely. There may a situation in which the parents of an alleged victim are unhappy that their daughter or son is engaging in sexual intercourse and report the statutory rape to the police. Keep in mind that the prosecutor’s office does have some discretion relative whether to proceed with a case or not. However, the feelings of the distraught parents will likely have a role in the decision whether or not to prosecute.

Often charges of Statutory Rape are brought by parents after the child has been discovered to be involved a sexual relationship, learns that she is pregnant, or after the child no longer wishes to continue the relationship. The incident is usually reported by a parent to the police department and a report filed with the District Attorney's office. The office of the District Attorney decides whether charges are warranted.

Statutory rape of a minor by a teacher, coach, assistant coach, tutor, or one in a similar relationship is taken even more seriously.

If you or someone you love has been accused of Statutory Rape, call Massachusetts Criminal Sex Crimes Lawyer Kathleen McCarthy right now at 978-975-8060 or contact us online to send an email. Kathleen McCarthy is an experienced, thorough and relentless lawyer, powerful in the courtroom and at the negotiating table. She will fight on your behalf to protect you and your loved ones.

The court does not care about "teenage love." A sixteen (16) year old can be convicted for Statutory Rape of a fifteen (15) year old. And the law does not care if the underage minor claimed to be eighteen (18) years or age or older. Even if the victim lied about their age, even if they look like they are over eighteen (18), the older person - even if the accused is under eighteen (18) - will still be charged with Statutory Rape.

If you or someone you love has been arrested for Statutory Rape, you must immediately retain a Massachusetts Criminal Sex Crimes lawyer who is experienced in these kinds of cases and is willing to take an all-out aggressive defense. The consequences of this conviction are too serious for anything less.

Should I Plead Guilty To Statutory Rape If I Do Not Get Any Jail Time And Am Just Placed On Probation?

This disposition seems like a great disposition at first. However, a defendant convicted of this crime will have to register as a sex offender with the Sex Offender Registry Board. This fact can interfere with someone’s relationships within the family, his or her ability to work, and his or her ability to volunteer at a school or church. Thus, if a defendant is considering pleading guilty to this charge he or she must be aware of this fact before deciding whether to plead guilty or go to trial.

Call Massachusetts Criminal Sex Crimes Lawyer Kathleen McCarthy right now at 978-975-8060 or contact us online to send an email. Do not delay.