While the general age of consent is now set between 16 and 18 in all U. states, the age of consent has widely varied across the country in the past. Any juvenile offender 14 years old or older has the case automatically transferred to the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court by operation of law, and thus stands before the court to be tried as an adult. By law, the exception permits a person 23 years of age or younger to engage in legal sexual activity with a minor aged 16 or 17. 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.In 1880, the age of consent was set at 10 or 12 in most states, with the exception of Delaware where it was 7. Such a finding would allow the Court to issue orders as it finds necessary in dealing with the matter. 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, punishable as provided in s. This law specifies that a defendant cannot be convicted on the testimony of the victim alone; some other evidence must be present.The laws were designed to prosecute persons far older than the victims rather than teenagers close in age; therefore prosecutors rarely pursued teenagers in relationships with other teenagers even though the wordings of the laws made some close-in-age teenage relationships illegal. This subsection is ambiguous on its face and seems to apply only when the minor is transported across state or international lines to a place where the conduct is already illegal to begin with. Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (10 U. There is also a mistake-in-age defense if the minor is over 12, but not if the minor is under 12. Depending upon the relevant status of forces agreement, United States servicemembers are also subject to the local criminal laws of the host nation for acts committed off-post. It carries a minimum sentence of 5 years and a max of 20 years in prison for a first-time offender, as well as mandatory counseling and sex offender sentencing guidelines.After the 1995 Landry and Forrest study concluded that men aged 20 and older produced half of the teenage pregnancies of girls between 15 and 17, states began to more stringently enforce age-of-consent laws to combat teenage pregnancy in addition to prevent adults from taking advantage of minors. Kercher of the Criminal Justice Center of Sam Houston State University wrote that these laws are often referred to as "Romeo and Juliet laws", though they defined Romeo and Juliet as only referring to an affirmative defense against prosecution. The United States Department of Justice seems to agree with this interpretation. Within the United States, United States servicemembers are further subject to the local state law both when off-post. The age of consent in the District of Columbia is 16 with a close-in-age exemption for those within four years of age. population resides in states which have ages of consent as 16 or 17. For repeat offenders, the minimum 10 years and the maximum is life imprisonment.
In some places, civil and criminal laws within the same state conflict with each other. However, if the offender is 17 years old or younger, has a clean record, and such sexual activity was consensual, Youthful Offender status (a pre-trial diversionary program that seals the court record and results in a dismissal of charges) may be granted. A juvenile offender 13 years old and younger would be charged as a "serious juvenile offender" under C. The age of consent in Florida is 18, but close-in-age exemptions exist. As used in this section, "sexual activity" means oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another; however, sexual activity does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose Florida code, Title XLVI, Chapter 794 A new law passed in 2007 stated that persons convicted of statutory rape may be removed from the sex offender list if they were no more than four years older than their victims, had only the statutory rape offense on their records, and had victims aged 14–17., though the offenses are a misdemeanor rather than a felony in cases where the perpetrator is less than 19 years of age and is no more than 4 years older than the victim.
There was also a law which prohibited K-12 teachers from having sex with students under age 19, and violators could face prison time or get on the sex offender registry. 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". Georgia was notoriously resistant to raising its age of consent in the Progressive Era.
In 2017, Alabama Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson, of Morgan County in the north of the state, ruled that this law was unconstitutional. 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) AS . (a) An offender commits the crime of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree if (1) being 16 years of age or older, the offender engages in sexual penetration with a person who is 13, 14, or 15 years of age and at least three years younger than the offender, or aids, induces, causes or encourages a person who is 13, 14, or 15 years of age and at least three years younger than the offender to engage in sexual penetration with another person... Note: these are not close-in-age exceptions but defenses in court. The same conduct, entered into with an eighteen-year-old and without a belief that the prostitute was under eighteen years of age, would be a misdemeanor. In 1894, the Georgia Supreme Court reversed the conviction of a man convicted of raping a 10-year-old girl because the age of consent in Georgia was 10 at the time.
A 17-year-old may not, however, consent to sex with a person who is in a position of trust with respect to the person under the age of eighteen. The law also allows a defense if the actor is within 4 years of age of the younger person the two were in an ongoing dating/romantic relationship.
If the juvenile agrees to the waiver, the case will proceed through the juvenile system with a bench trial.