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Can I Be Charged with Statutory Rape if There Was Consent?

 Posted on January 05, 2024 in Criminal Defense

marble falls sex crimes defense lawyerThe issue of consent in sex crimes cases involving statutory rape is a complex and sensitive issue. In Texas, the age of consent is 17, meaning that someone older than 17 engaging in sexual activity with someone under this age can lead to statutory rape charges. However, it is important to understand that consent by both parties does not absolve an individual from potential legal consequences. If you are facing statutory rape charges, you must strongly consider contacting an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Texas. A sex crime conviction can have devastating results on someone’s life, which is why calling a lawyer is so important for anyone charged.

Protecting Minors from Exploitation

The laws in Texas regarding statutory rape are in place to safeguard minors from the dangers of exploitation. As a result, even if both parties consent to sexual activity, if one of the parties is older than 17 and one younger, you may find yourself facing charges.

Strict Liability Offense

Statutory rape is considered a strict liability offense in Texas. This means that the prosecution does not need to prove the absence of consent or the presence of force or coercion. Merely engaging in sexual activity with a minor under the age of consent is sufficient to establish the offense.

Romeo and Juliet Exception

Texas has a “Romeo and Juliet” exception that sometimes provides a limited defense. This exception applies when the persons involved in sexual activity are close in age. For example, if both parties are within three years of age and the younger person is at least 14, the law may provide some leniency. However, this exception does not completely absolve individuals from potential legal consequences.

Potential Legal Consequences

Engaging in sexual activity with a minor under the age of consent can lead to serious legal consequences. In Texas, statutory rape is a second-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years and fines up to $10,000. In addition, those convicted of statutory rape may be required to register as sex offenders, which can be devastating to individuals personal and professional lives.

Contact Our Llano County, TX, Sex Crimes Defense Attorney Today

Ultimately, in Texas, you may face charges if you engage in sexual activity with a minor under the age of consent, regardless of if both parties consented. If you are facing charges, contact the skilled Marble Falls, TX, sex crimes defense lawyer with Law Office of Russ Alan Baker, PLLC. Call 325-216-2006 for a private consultation.

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