Ages of consent in North America

The ages of consent for sexual activity vary by jurisdiction across North America. The specific activity engaged in or the gender of its participants can also be affected by the law. Below is a discussion of the various laws dealing with this subject. The highlighted age refers to an age at or above which an individual can engage in unfettered sexual relations with another who is also at or above that age. Other variables are close in age exceptions may exist are noted when relevant and for higher age of sexual consent for homosexuality in; The Bahamas (for all same-sex sexual conduct) and Bermuda (just for male-male sexual conduct only). In Canada there is a higher age of consent for anal sex, regardless that is noted. In the United States the ages vary from one state to another and are not uniform. In Missouri, the age is 14 years old with certain circumstances. The spouse/significant other must be 5 years older.

Bahamas, The

In the Bahamas, the age of consent for opposite-sex activity is 16 and the age of consent for same-sex activity is 18. Since 1991 homosexuality was legalized. However, "public homosexuality" is an offense that carries a 20 year jail term without parole.

Further reading:

Bermuda (Crown Dependency of the UK)

In Bermuda, the age of consent is 16 for heterosexual and female homosexual acts, while the age of consent for male homosexual acts is maintained at 18.

History

Male homosexual acts were decriminalized in Bermuda since 1994 where the above conditions were set .

Canada

Since the recent amendments to the Canadian Criminal Code in March 2008, the current age of consent is 16.

Although Canada is a federation, the criminal law (including the definition of the age of consent) is in the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government, so the age of consent is uniform throughout Canada. Section 151 of the Criminal Code of Canada makes it a crime to touch, for a sexual purpose, any person under the age of 16 years. Section 153 then goes on to prohibit the sexual touching of a person under 18 by a person in three circumstances: if he or she is in a "position of trust or authority" towards the youth, if the youth is in a "relationship of dependency" with him or her or if the relationship is "exploitative". The term "position of trust or authority" is not defined in the Code but the courts have ruled that parents, teachers and medical professionals hold a position of trust or authority towards youth they care for or teach. For determining whether or not a relationship is "exploitative" s. 153 (1.2) of the Code provides that a judge can consider how old the youth is, the difference in ages between the partners, how the relationship evolved and the degree of control or influence that the older partner has over the youth.

Where an accused is charged with an offense under s. 151 (Sexual Interference), s. 152 (Invitation to sexual touching), s. 153(1) (Sexual exploitation), s. 160(3) (Bestiality in presence of or by child), or s. 173(2) (Indecent acts), or is charged with an offense under s. 271 (Sexual assault), s. 272 (Sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party, or causing bodily harm), or s. 273 (Aggravated sexual assault) in respect of a complainant under the age of fourteen years, it is not a defense that the complainant consented to the activity that forms the subject-matter of the charge.

There exists a close in age exemption in cases where the partners are within two years of age of each other (Section 150.1(2)) or where the person who would be charged is under 14 (Section 150.1(3)). This exemption is equally granted to partners who are within 5 years of age of each other where the minor involved is between the ages of 14 and 16. However this exemption does not apply if the accused was in a position of trust or authority towards the victim, the victim was in a relationship of dependency with the accused or if the relationship between the accused and victim is found to be exploitative.

Additionally, section 159 of the Criminal Code sets the age of consent for anal intercourse at 18 years, with an exception if the two partners are married. It is interesting to note that in this section has 'husband and wife' - Even though gender-neutral marriages are legal since 2005.

However, courts in Ontario (1995) and Quebec (1998) have independently declared Section 159 of the Criminal Code of Canada (Anal Intercourse) unconstitutional.

Anal sex legislation from the Federal Canadian Criminal Code; Criminal Code;

PART V: SEXUAL OFFENCES, PUBLIC MORALS AND DISORDERLY CONDUCT Sexual Offences Anal intercourse 159. (1) Every person who engages in an act of anal intercourse is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Exception (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to any act engaged in, in private, between (a) husband and wife, or

(b) any two persons, each of whom is eighteen years of age or more, both of whom consent to the act.Idem (3) For the purposes of subsection (2),

(a) an act shall be deemed not to have been engaged in in private if it is engaged in in a public place or if more than two persons take part or are present; and

(b) a person shall be deemed not to consent to an act

(i) if the consent is extorted by force, threats or fear of bodily harm or is obtained by false and fraudulent misrepresentations respecting the nature and quality of the act, or

(ii) if the court is satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the person could not have consented to the act by reason of mental disability.

R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 159; R.S., 1985, c. 19 (3rd Supp.), s. 3.

History

The age of consent for heterosexual vaginal sex was previously 12 years of age; in 1890, parliament raised it to 14. The punishment for anyone who breached the law was life imprisonment and whipping, while the punishment for anyone who only attempted to seduce an underage girl was two years' imprisonment and whipping. From March 2008, the Tackling Violent Crime Act became effective, which among other crimes included under the Act has raised the age of consent in Canada to 16. Anal sex still remains at age 18 under section 159, and the new measures still allow for close in age exceptions only between 12 and 16 - If there is no more than a three year gap. Senate passes crime bill, averts election showdown

Female homosexuality was never illegal in the former English colonies; oral sex was legalized in 1969 with the same age of consent as vaginal sex and anal sex was also legalized in 1969 - But with a higher age of consent being set at 21, under section 159; then in 1988 the age of consent for anal sex was lowered to 18. As of 2008, no plans to 'repeal' section 159 - Even though it has been ruled unconstitutional in some places of Canada.

Further reading

Mexico

In Mexico, the age at which there are no restrictions for sexual activities is 18, while the minimum age of consent varies between 12 and 18, according to state laws. In Mexico, criminal legislation is shared between the Federal Government and regional states. The Federal law establishes the age of 12 as the minimum age at which states can legislate upon; however there may be local state laws that override the federal law.

Federal Law

Article 261 of the Federal Penal Code of Mexico (PDF) states that: "Whoever, without the purpose of reaching copulation, performs a sexual act in a person under 12 or in a person that has no capacity of understanding the meaning of the act or that for any reason cannot resist, or demands that the act is performed, will be punished with a term of 2 to 5 years in prison". If the offender uses moral or physical violence, an extra half term is added to the initial time.

Article 266 refers to the previous article 265, 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 266 then states that: "It is equivalent to rape and will be punished with the same penalty: (1st Clause) - who without violence performs a copulation with a person under 12". 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, 266 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 262 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. This crime, however, is only prosecuted through a complaint of the minor or his/her parents or legal guardians, as determined in Article 263.

Further reading:

Local laws

Federal District

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.

According to the Estatuto del Gobierno del Distrito Federal (PDF)(in Spanish) (Government Statute of the Federal District), Article 42, Clause XII, the District's Legislative Assembly has powers to legislate in criminal law.

Article 175 of the Federal District Penal Code refers to the previous Article 174, 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 175 (violación) then states that: "It is equivalent to rape and will be punished with the same penalty: (1st Clause) - who performs a copulation with a person under 12 years of age or with a person that has no capacity of understanding the meaning of the act or that for any reason cannot resist"; The 2nd Clause defines as committing the same crime whoever "introduces in the vagina or anus any element, instrument or any part of the human body different from the penis", in relation to these same persons.

Article 177 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 (175 and 177), there is an extra half term in case of physical or moral violence. And according to Article 178, there is also a punishment of an extra two thirds of the term under the same circumstances foreseen in Article 266 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.

Finally, there is a crime called estupro stipulated in Article 180, 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.

Age of consent is 12 in:

Aguascalientes, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Coahuila, Chiapas, Mexico City, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco,Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Puebla, San Luis Potosi, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Yucatan, Zacatecas

13 in:

Nuevo Leon

14 in:

Baja California, Colima, Chihuahua, Durango, Quintana Roo, Tlaxcala, Veracruz 15 in: Mexico (state)

United States

The United States of America is a federal republic where the age of consent laws are made predominantly at the state level, however there also exist federal age of consent related laws. On 26 June 2003, both heterosexual and homosexual sodomy became legal in all US states and territories under a US Supreme Court decision called Lawrence v. Texas (between non-commercial, consenting adults in a private bedroom). The US Supreme Court also stated the age of consent also to be equal of that to what is already legal, under all US jurisdictions.

Federal Laws

forbids the use of the United States Postal Service or other interstate or foreign means of communication, such as telephone calls or use of the internet, to persuade or entice a minor (defined as under 18 throughout chapter) to be involved in a criminal sexual act. The act has to be illegal under state or federal law to be charged with a crime under 2422(b), and can even be applied to situations where both parties reside within the same state but use an instant messenger program whose servers are located in another state.

forbids transporting a minor (defined as under 18) in interstate or foreign commerce with the intent of engaging in criminal sexual acts in which a person can be charged. This subsection is ambiguous on its face, and only seems to apply if you transport a minor across state or international lines to a place where the conduct is already illegal to begin with. United States Department of Justice seems to agree with this interpretation.

forbids travelling in interstate or foreign commerce to engage in "illicit sexual conduct" with a minor. 2423(f) refers to Chapter 109A as its bright line for defining "illicit sexual conduct", as far as non-commercial sexual activity is concerned. For the purposes of age of consent, the only provision applicable is . 2243(a) refers to situations where such younger person is under the age of 16 years, has attained 12 years of age, and the older person is more than 4 years older than the 12-15 year old (persons under 12 are handled under 18 U.S.C. 2241(c) under aggravated sexual abuse). So, the age is 12 years if one is within 4 years of the 12-15 year old's age, 16 under all other circumstances. This most likely reflects Congressional intent to not unduly interfere with a state's age of consent law, which would have been the case if the age was set to 18 under all circumstances. This law is also extraterritorial in nature to U.S. Citizens and Residents who travel outside of the United States.

Although legislation tends to reflect general societal attitudes regarding male verses female ages of consent, Richard Posner notes in his ''Guide to America's Sex Laws;

"The U.S. Supreme Court has held that stricter rules for males do not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution, on the theory that men lack the disincentives associated with pregnancy that women have to engage in sexual activity, and the law may thus provide men with those disincentives in the form of criminal sanctions."

Alabama

The age of consent is 16, minimum age for civil majors (19 years old).

Shown by articles of the Code of Alabama :

(c) A person is deemed incapable of consent if he is: (1) Less than 16 years old; or ... (a) A person commits the crime of sexual abuse in the second degree if: ... (2) He, being 19 years old or older, subjects another person to sexual contact who is less than 16 years old, but more than 12 years old. (a) A person commits the crime of rape in the first degree if: ... (3) He or she, being 16 years or older, engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex who is less than 12 years old. (a) A person commits the crime of rape in the second degree if: ... (1) Being 16 years old or older, he or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex less than 16 and more than 12 years old; provided, however, the actor is at least two years older than the member of the opposite sex. (2) He or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex who is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally defective.

Alaska

The age of consent is 16, provided the older partner is not in a position of authority. Alaska Statutes - Title 11. Criminal Law - Chapter 41. Offenses Against the Person - Sexual Abuse of a Minor

Section 436 in the First Degree (Unclassified Felony) ; Section 436 in the Second Degree (Class B Felony) ; Section 438 in the Third Degree (Class C Felony) ; Section 440 : in the Fourth Degree (Class A misdemeanor)

Sexual Abuse of a Minor in the .... :

Indecent Exposure :

Arizona

The age of consent in Arizona is 18. However there exist in the legislation defenses to prosecution if the defendant is close in age to the "victim" or a spouse of the "victim". Note: these are not close in age exceptions but defenses at court.

Arizona Revised Statute 13-1405(A)

13-1407 (Defenses)

Arkansas

The age of consent is mainly 16, with some defense up to 14.

Details : The age is minimum 16 for a minor (<18) with a major more than 20 years old. Under 18, the younger must not be less than 14, or if so, there is a defense if the minor is not more 4 years younger if above 12, not more 3 years younger if under 12. Sexual intercourse of a major and a minor under 14 is a rape.

'''Arkansas Code - Title 5. Criminal Offenses - Chapter 14. Sexual Offenses. Sections 5-14-

103,

124, 125, 126, 127 '''

5-14-127. (a) A person commits sexual assault in the fourth degree if the person:

(b)

California

The age of consent is 18, with a misdemeanor if the minor has 3 or less years of difference with the major. Penalties increase if the minor is under 14 and the major is above 21.

Texts :

Colorado

The unfettered age of consent in Colorado is 17, however there exist in the legislation close in age exceptions which allow those at least 15 and less than 17 to engage in acts with those less than ten years older and those less than 15 to engage in acts with those less than four years older.

''18-3-402(1) Any actor who knowingly inflicts sexual intrusion or sexual penetration on a victim commits sexual assault if: (d) At the time of the commission of the act, the victim is less than fifteen years of age and the actor is at least four years older than the victim and is not the spouse of the victim; or (e) At the time of the commission of the act, the victim is at least fifteen years of age but less than seventeen years of age and the actor is at least ten years older than the victim and is not the spouse of the victim;''

Colorado Revised Statutes website

Connecticut

The age of consent is 16 for sexual encounter (and 15 for sexual contact). Between 13 and 16, it is a positive defense against the assault, in case of a sexual encounter, if the age difference is less than 2 years. But if the actor of abuse has authority or influence (and is above 20), the consent age is 18. For most offenses, there is a worse felony or misdemeanor classification if the minor is under 16.

General statutes of Connecticut - Title 53a. Penal code - Chapter 952. Offenses. - Sections 53a-70 to 53a-73a.

Sec. 53a-71. Sexual assault in the second degree: Class C or B felony. ''(a) A person is guilty of sexual assault in the second degree when such person engages in sexual intercourse with another person and: (1) Such other person is thirteen years of age or older but under sixteen years of age and the actor is more than two years older than such person;'

Section 53a-73a. Sexual assault in the fourth degree: Class A misdemeanor or class D felony. (a) A person is guilty of sexual assault in the fourth degree when: (1) Such person intentionally subjects another person to sexual contact who is (A) under fifteen years of age, .... or (6) such person is a school employee and subjects another person to sexual contact who is a student enrolled in a school in which the actor works or a school under the jurisdiction of the local or regional board of education which employs the actor; or (7) such person is a coach in an athletic activity or a person who provides intensive, ongoing instruction and subjects another person to sexual contact who is a recipient of coaching or instruction from the actor and (A) is a secondary school student and receives such coaching or instruction in a secondary school setting,or (B) is under eighteen years of age; ''or (8) such person subjects another person to sexual contact and (A) the actor is twenty years of age or older and stands in a position of power, authority or supervision over such other person by virtue of the actor's professional, legal, occupational or volunteer status and such other person's participation in a program or activity, and (B) such other person is under eighteen years of age. ''

Delaware

The age of consent in Delaware is 16, although it is illegal for a person under the age of 18 to have intercourse with another who is at or above the age of 30. However, there exists in the legislation a close in age exception.

''Title 11 § 761. Definitions generally applicable to sexual offences. (j) A child who has not yet reached his or her sixteenth birthday is deemed unable to consent to a sexual act with a person more than 4 years older than said child. Children who have not yet reached their twelfth birthday are deemed unable to consent to a sexual act under any circumstances.''

Crimes and Criminal Procedure, Delaware Criminal Code

Florida

The age of consent in Florida is 16/18, close in age exemptions exist. By law, the exception permits an adult under the age of 24 to engage in legal sexual activity with a minor no younger than the age of 16.

''800.04 Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age. (1) DEFINITIONS. As used in this section: (a) "Sexual activity" means the oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object; however, sexual activity does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose. (4) LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS BATTERY. A person who: (a) Engages in sexual activity with a person 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age; or (b) Encourages, forces, or entices any person less than 16 years of age to engage in sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, prostitution, or any other act involving sexual activitycommits lewd or lascivious battery, a felony of the second degree

794.05 Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors.-- (1) A person 24 years of age or older who engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years of age commits a felony of the second degree...''

Florida code, Title XLVI, Chapter 794

Georgia

The age of consent in Georgia is 16 as specified by of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

Idaho

The age of consent in Idaho is 18 in ordinary circumstances with no close in age exception as specified in the Idaho statutes 18-1601.

Indiana

The age of consent in Indiana is 16 years of age.

It is very clear that there are no laws that directly criminalize any consensual non-coerced sexual conduct with any person the age of 16 or older unless certain mental issues are present (mental retardation).

The age of consent is 16 years of age in all other cases.

Illinois

The age of consent to sexual activity is 17. It is also illegal for a person to commit sexual acts on a person under the age of 18 if he/she has a position of authority or trust over the victim.

Iowa

The age of consent in Iowa is 16 in most cases . There also exists in the Iowa Code a close in age exception with a position of authority inclusion.

Section 709.4 states; "A person commits sexual abuse in the third degree when the person performs a sex act under any of the following circumstances..." 2(c) "The other person is fourteen or fifteen years of age and any of the following are true..." (3) "The person is in a position of authority over the other person and uses that authority to coerce the other person to submit. (4) The person is four or more years older than the other person."

Section 709.15 forbids, amongst other things, sexual contact between a school employee and a "...person who is currently enrolled in or attending a public or nonpublic elementary or secondary school, or who was a student enrolled in or who attended a public or nonpublic elementary or secondary school within thirty days of any violation..." There exist similar laws for those who provide or purport to provide mental health services, officers in charge of offenders and juveniles .

The interpretation of Iowa law is that the age of pure consent is 16. But sexual acts involving a 14 or 15 are permissible so long as the older person is not more than four years older than the younger, the older is not related to or living with the younger, and the older is not in authority.

Iowa's "banishment law"

Iowa Code lookup

Iowa: further reading:

Kansas

The age of consent in Kansas as specified by K.S.A. 21-3503 is 16.

Kentucky

The age of consent in Kentucky is 16. Section 510.020 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes deems a person unable to consent if he or she is less than 16 years old. It is a defense however if the "victim" is at least 14 and the actor is less than 5 years older .

Additionally, under 510.120(d) it is "sexual abuse in the second degree," a Class A misdemeanor, for a person over 21 to have sex with anyone under 18 for whom he or she provides a foster home.

Maryland

The age of consent in Maryland is 16. An exception is made when the actor is not at least four years older than the victim. However, if someone in a "position of authority" engages in a sexual act with a minor, he or she may be guilty of sexual offense in the fourth degree as specified by Maryland Code § 3-308.

Massachusetts

The age of consent in Massachusetts is 16, as specified by Chapter 265, Section 23 of the General Laws of Massachusetts, which states:

"''Whoever unlawfully has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse, and abuses a child under sixteen years of age shall... be punished..." MGL 265-23

However, Chapter 272, Section 4 sets another age of consent at 18 when the "victim" be "of chaste life" and the perpetrator induces them.

"Whoever induces any person under 17 years of age of chaste life to have unlawful sexual intercourse shall be punished." MGL 272-4

Michigan

The age of consent in Michigan is 16 unless one is an authority figure in which case the age of consent is 18.

Minnesota

The age of consent in Minnesota is 16.

If the actor is in a position of authority, the age of consent is 18. If the victim is under the age of 13 the actor must be no more than 36 months older. If the victim is between the ages of 13 and 15 the actor must be no more than 48 months older. The specifics of these laws are covered under Sections 609.34x of the Minnesota Criminal Code. Specifically sections 609.341 Definitions, 609.342 Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree, 609.343 Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree, 609.344 Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Third Degree, 609.345 Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fourth Degree, 609.3451 Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fifth Degree, and 609.349 Voluntary Relationships. These laws have been translated into layman's terms at the child sexual abuse prevention website youcanstopitnow.org.

Mississippi

The crime of statutory rape is committed when:

  1. Any person seventeen (17) years of age or older has sexual intercourse with a child who:
  2. ## Is at least fourteen (14) but under sixteen (16) years of age; ## Is thirty-six (36) or more months younger than the person; and ## Is not the person's spouse; or
  3. A person of any age has sexual intercourse with a child who:
  4. ## Is under the age of fourteen (14) years; ## Is twenty-four (24) or more months younger than the person; and ## Is not the person's spouse.

Missouri

Since July 2006, the age of consent in Missouri is 17, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender

Mistake as to the age of the victim may be a defense in some circumstances as defined in RSMo 566.020.

Statutory rape and sodomy, RSMo §§ 566.032 and 566.062 involve a child less than 14 years of age. Statutory rape and sodomy in the second degree, RSMo §§ 566.034 and 566.064 involve a child less than 17 years of age and an accused who is 21 years of age or older. The crime of Child molestation in the second degree, RSMo § 566.068, occurs when a child less than 17 years of age is subject to "sexual contact".

The distinction among those crimes has lead some to the false conclusion that Missouri has a close in age exception. Missouri has no such exception beyond the degree of crime committed.

While the statutory titles are cast in terms of Rape and Sodomy, the statutes prohibit conduct that is described as "sexual intercourse" and "deviant sexual intercourse". Those terms are defined in RSMo § 566.010 .

Missouri's definition of consent is also a bit odd. The courts may accept as sufficient proof of "forcibly compelled" sexual relations, evidence of the victims perceived susceptibility, youth and lack of experience, to person in positions of authority, which include souvenir vendors, and proof deviant sexual intercourse as sufficient evidence for a rape or sodomy conviction. See State v. Vandevere, 175 S.W.3d 107, SC 86802 (Mo October 15 2005) (declaring a souvenir vendor held a position of authority but including some evidence of force, albeit guiding the victim through the hotel lobby by her elbow) and State v. Niederstadt, 66 S.W.3d 12, SC 83914 (Mo January 22 2002) (holding that, even though the victim was asleep, the defendant inserted his finger, which must have involved physical force applied to the body, therefore the evidence was sufficient to prove forcible sodomy). Niederstadt was accused of forcible sodomy and in the middle three paragraphs of the opinion you will notice that the court reasoned: forcible sodomy requires evidence of forcible compulsion; forcible compulsion includes physical force; physical force is force applied to the body; the act of deviant sex, digital penetration, required applying force to the body; therefore, the State presented sufficient evidence forcible deviant sexual intercourse. As souvenir vendors were subsequently elevated to positions of authority and respect, this might be known as the dirty old man exception.

A full list of the offenses listed in Chapter 566 of Missouri's revised statutes is available here . There are some tangential crimes in chapter 567 concerning prostitution and closely related crimes, particularly those involving endangering the welfare of child in Chapter 568, which can explored further by selecting the respective chapters here .

New Hampshire

The age of consent in New Hampshire is 16. However a close in age exception exists where a person may "engage in sexual penetration" with a person 13 years old or older and younger than 16 if their age difference is less than 3 years. However if the partner is acting "in loco parentis", e.g. as a teacher or a guardian, the minimum age is 18. NH Criminal code Section 632-A:3 and Section 632-A:2

New Jersey

The age of consent in New Jersey is 16. However, law also states that if I minor is under 18, they may engage in sexual activities with persons up to 4 years older than them. For example, it is lawful for a 14 year old male or female to engage with sex with a person up to 18 years of age. This also applies for 13 year olds (up to 17), and etc.

New York

The age of consent in New York is 17.

If the victim is under 15 and the perpetrator is at least 18, this constitutes a 2nd degree sexual offense. However, if the defendant is less than 4 years older than the victim, this may constitute an affirmative defense. Affirmative defenses are those in which the defendant introduces evidence which negates criminal liability. Unless the victim is 13 and the guilty party doesnt admit all charges will be dropped

New York Penal Code Section 130.25

North Carolina

The age of consent in North Carolina in general is 16, though no school faculty member can have any sexual activity with any student except when married to the person . Any sexual intercourse with a 16'''' year old is prohibited unless the defendant is less than 4 years older than the victim except when married to the person .

There is no defense against a charge of rape that the victim is the spouse of person committing the act .

North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 14

Ohio

The age of consent in Ohio is 16 as specified by Section 2907.04 of Ohio legislation. However there exists a close in age exception where an offender can be charged only if 18 years of age or older. However in that case, it is possible for both minors to be charged as "unruly" if brought to court .

2907.04 Unlawful sexual conduct with minor.
(A) No person who is eighteen years of age or older shall engage in sexual conduct with another, who is not the spouse of the offender, when the offender knows the other person is thirteen years of age or older but less than sixteen years of age, or the offender is reckless in that regard. .

Oregon

Sexual offenses are defined under the Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 163. With regards to age only, the following offenses are defined.

18 - Consent for all laws.
Under 18 - Defined as Sexual Abuse 3 (Class A Misdemeanor)
Under 16 - Defined as Rape 3 / Sodomy 3 (Class C Felony) (ORS 163.245)
Under 14 - Defined as Rape 2 / Sodomy 2 (Class B Felony)
Under 12 - Defined as Rape 1 / Sodomy 1 (Class A Felony)

Additionally, Oregon has a 3 year rule defined under ORS 163.345. However, this does not apply to Rape 1, or Sodomy 1, effectively limiting the age to 12. However, a person can still be charged with Sexual Misconduct (Class C Misdemeanor) under ORS 163.445, if the victim was under 15 years old.

Pennsylvania

The age of consent in Pennsylvania is 13 years / 16 years of age.

The age of consent is 13 years of age when the oldest person (both must be over 13) is less than four years older than the complainant. for example... 13/(17 - 1 day) 14/ (18 - 1 day) 15/ (19- 1 day).

The age of consent is 16 years of age in all other cases.

It is very clear that there are no laws that directly criminalize any consensual non-coerced sexual conduct with any person the age of 16 or older unless certain mental issues are present (mental retardation).

A person who is 4 or more years older than a consenting partner who is 'less than 16 years of age or any person that is older than 13 and has engaged in sexual activity with someone under the age of 13' may be charged with the following felony sex offenses:

§ 3122.1. Statutory sexual assault.

Except as provided in section 3121 (relating to rape), a person commits a felony of the second degree when that person engages in sexual intercourse with a complainant under the age of 16 years and that person is four or more years older than the complainant and the complainant and the person are not married to each other.Aggravated indecent assault

§ 3125 Aggravated indecent assault

(7) the complainant is less than 13 years of age; or (8) the complainant is 'less than 16 years of age and the person is four or more years older' than the complainant and the complainant and the person are not married to each other. (b) Aggravated indecent assault of a child.--A person commits aggravated indecent assault of a child when the person violates subsection (a)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5) or (6) and the complainant is less than 13 years of age.

§ 3123 Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse

(7) who is 'less than 16 years of age and the person is four or more years older' than the complainant and the complainant and person are not married to each other.

It is very clear that there are no laws that directly criminalize any consensual non-coerced sexual conduct with any person the age of 16 or older unless certain mental issues are present (mental retardation).

However...

When the alleged victim is 16 or older and less than 18 years of age, a charge of corruption of a minor may be made.

Corruption of minors. (a) Offense defined.-- (1) Whoever, being of the age of 18 years and upwards, by any act corrupts or tends to corrupt the morals of any minor less than 18 years of age, or who aids, abets, entices or encourages any such minor in the commission of any crime, or who knowingly assists or encourages such minor in violating his or her parole or any order of court, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree.

This charge typically is used only in plead agreements, but not in cases that actually led to a conviction. In the case cited, "coercion by authority" was in play, this was offered to avoid a rape charge. This insinuates that the commonwealth believes that premarital sex is a corruption of morals.

Tennessee

In a statutory rape case in Tennessee the official age of consent is 13. However, in the case of statutory rape it becomes more complicated if both parties are over the age. The official stance of the state of Tennessee on age of consent is "Statutory rape is sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant or of the defendant by the victim when the victim is at least thirteen (13) but less than eighteen (18) years of age and the defendant is at least four (4) years older than the victim." Tennessee law does not give clear directions for cases in which both parties are below age of consent.

Texas

The age of consent in Texas is 17 . However , "...It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the actor...was not more than three years older than the victim and of the opposite sex...(and) did not use duress, force, or a threat against the victim at the time of the offence" and is not a registered sex offender .

Section 21.12 further prohibits all sexual contact between an employee of a school (including educators)and a student enrolled at the primary or secondary school where said employee works. No age is specified by the statute (thus, even if the student has reached consent age of 17, it is still a violation), and violations are a second degree felony.

Virginia

There is no unfettered age of consent in Virginia according to state Codes. The effective age of consent is 18 with an ostensible close in age exception of 15 for those under 18. However the legislation is not clear cut, the details are discussed below:

Any penetrative sexual act other than penile-vaginal intercourse is defined in Virginia law as 'sodomy.' Section 18.2-361 of the Code of Virginia entitled "Crimes against nature" states in part;

"If any person carnally knows in any manner any brute animal, or carnally knows any male or female person by the anus or by or with the mouth, or voluntarily submits to such carnal knowledge, he or she shall be guilty of ... felony..."

In addition, any sexual intercourse is defined in Virginia law as 'fornication.' Section 18.2-344 of the Code of Virginia entitled "Crimes against nature" states;

"Any person, not being married, who voluntarily shall have sexual intercourse with any other person, shall be guilty of fornication, punishable as a Class 4 misdemeanor."

The courts of Virginia have ruled that these statutes are not invalid under the US Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas since that case only applied to adults, and the age of majority in Virginia is 18. This means that those 18 and above involved in consensual activity in private may have a defense in court, but those under 18 do not.

Otherwise the age of consent appears to be 15 as stated in Section 18.2-63 of the Code which states in part;

"If any person carnally knows, without the use of force, a child thirteen years of age or older but under fifteen years of age, such person shall be guilty of ... felony ... For the purposes of this section, (i) a child under the age of thirteen years shall not be considered a consenting child and (ii) "carnal knowledge" includes the acts of sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, analingus, anal intercourse, and animate and inanimate object sexual penetration."

However, consensual sex where one partner is 15-17 and the other is over 18 is a class 1 misdemeanor (18.2-371 contributing to the delinquency of a minor).

Further reading

Washington

Wyoming

Further reading

See also

Index: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

This article is based on "Ages of consent in North America" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org). It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ages+of+consent+in+North+America&action=history