But do these dangers warrant laws that put young people in prison?Romeo and Juliet Make a Comeback Statutory rape is defined by the FBI as non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is younger than the statutory age of consent.She claimed it was rape, he claimed it was consensual, and a jury acquitted him of the charges.
However, there are still restrictions in some states about the type of sexual activity that is permissible, such as oral sex and sodomy, as well as restrictions on relationships involving a minor and a person of authority, including teachers, coaches, or tutors.
All states have special provisions if any physical force was used or serious physical injury resulted.
Because the laws weren’t intended to punish two individuals close in age who engage in consensual sex, in many jurisdictions, an adult who is two or three years older than the minor will not be charged with statutory rape, or will be penalized less severely than a much older adult.
These so-called “Romeo and Juliet” laws provide defenses and reduced penalties in cases where the couple is relatively close in age.
It’s awesome to be home with my family and friends.” Prior to his court case and conviction, Dixon had been offered a full football scholarship at Vanderbilt University, which was revoked after his arrest.
Upon his release from prison, Dixon enrolled at Hampton University in Virginia with a football scholarship.Until recently, statutory rape laws applied only to females, ignoring situations involving sex between an adult female and underage male.Today, most laws are gender neutral, and a number of women in authority positions (such as Mary Kay Letourneau, Debra Lafave, Pamela Rogers Turner, and Pamela Smart) have been prosecuted for engaging in sexual relationships with younger males. While many states have strict statutory rape laws on the books, prosecutors have been inconsistent in enforcing them, says Mark Chaffin, a researcher with the National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth.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.At 21 years of age, Wilson was released from prison when the court declared his sentence “grossly disproportionate to his crime.” Other states have made similar changes in an attempt to undo the harsh effects of exceptionally strict laws. Statutory rape laws are based on the premise that although young girls may want to have sex, they may not have enough experience or discernment to make a mature, informed decision.Whether you agree with this outcome or not, the fact remains that statutory rape is considered a serious crime, enforceable to the full extent of the law in many states – and can change the course of a teenager’s life forever.