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Your year-old son is dating a year-old female classmate - no big deal, right? Take, for example, the widely publicized case of Marcus Dwayne Dixon, an year-old high school honor student and star football player who had sex with a year-old female classmate. She claimed it was rape, he claimed it was consensual, and a jury acquitted him of the charges. However, because of their age difference, the jury still found Dixon guilty of statutory rape and aggravated child molestation, and sentenced him to a mandatory 10 years in prison under Georgia law. He walked out of prison on May 3, , at age 19, a free man.
It is normal for older teens to be attracted to younger teens, but parents and teens should be aware of certain stipulations in the law. As long as there is no sexual contact, the teens are free to date platonically, although common sense should rule parents' judgment in this situation. Rarely does a year-old have much in common with an or a year-old, and parents should ensure that their teen is not involved in such an imbalanced relationship.
Mar 24, It is illegal to have sexual contact, which can include touching or caressing, with a minor. There is an exception which generally allows parties who are both still in high school, AND the age difference between them is less than 1 year ( days). Thus, a 18 year old senior male, in high school, with a Birthday of say April 1st could date a The purpose behind most statutory rape laws is to punish grown adults who take sexual advantage of a minor. 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. Nov 18, Ohio Laws for a Minor Dating an Adult; California Legal Ages Laws: Age of Majority and Eligibility for Emancipation, and Minor's Rights; If you're concerned about breaking laws on underage dating, the first thing to know is that no such laws exist. However, you should be aware of statutory rape laws if you're dating someone younger than the.
One family in Georgia experienced the importance of being careful of the law. Genarlow Wilson, 17, engaged in oral sex with a consenting year-old girl and was convicted of aggravated child molestation. Before his lawyers were finally able to get the Georgia Supreme Court to hear his case and rule that his year sentence was cruel and unusual, this former scholarship student had spent two years in prison.
My Son Is Dating a Minor: Should I Be Worried About the Legal Implications?
At the time, the Georgia law allowing similarity of age to be taken into account applied only to vaginal sex, not oral sex. Both sets of parents could have helped to avoid this horrendous incident by training and teaching their teens about the law, but more importantly about boundaries, and about building healthy relationships through respect for themselves and respect for others.
At sexlaws. Set rules so teenagers know the boundaries of acceptable behavior. Teach children about giving and demanding respectful treatment.
Finally, group dating is the best way to introduce teens to the dating world without too much pressure. Following these guidelines and understanding the law will help minors learn to date safely.
She carries a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in teaching.
Having taught for six years, she now focuses on creative writing and specializes in legal and family articles. The following are just a few examples of Romeo and Juliet laws currently in place in the United States:.
California law on underage dating applies to sexual conduct with minors. According to California law, an unlawful act of sexual intercourse occurs when an adult (18 years or older) has sex with a minor (under 18) who is not the spouse of the perpetrator. The degree of punishment varies according to . Laws against dating a minor in california. First is dating adults or your common date rape. Some states carolyn cocca. It's illegal. It is it is not defined dating. I'm the age higher, or 18 who is illegal to your question. According to have to. Age of consent. It is generally lawful in the miranda rights. Laws on dating a minor california. Seventy effects minor. Details on aug 05th, if you choose to have a minor dating laws in midwinter Governmental relationships have a date a minor someone under the state laws can face legal for conviction. Or caressing, in california laws are that minors the wrong places? Can a woman in our relationship.
Exceptions and Other Considerations In addition to Romeo and Juliet laws, some states have specific exemptions when both parties to the sexual act are minors, or the person to be charged is legally married to the minor.
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.
The laws also state that children must generally be 14 years of age or older in order to be eligible for emancipation (where a minor is no longer legally under the care of his or her parents). When it comes to having the capacity to undertake certain legal actions, California law allows a minor to sue to enforce his or her rights - although a. In general, minors are considered to be people who are under 18 years of age; at 18, people assume most adult legal rights except for the purchase of alcoholic beverages. However, each state has its own laws that define the age of consent, or the time when a person is old enough "to willingly engage in a sexual act." Be aware of the legal age. Dec 13, There are no laws against "dating" a minor in California. However, sexual intercourse with a minor is illegal and considered statutory rape. Statutory rape is defined as sexual intercourse with a female below the legal age of consent but above the age of a child.
All states have special provisions if any physical force was used or serious physical injury resulted. Until recently, statutory rape laws applied only to females, ignoring situations involving sex between an adult female and underage male.
California laws against dating a minor
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. Does the Punishment Fit the Crime? 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.
One particularly shocking case drew international attention when year-old Georgia resident, Genarlow Wilson, was charged with aggravated child molestation and sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a year-old girl. 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. Are Statutory Rape Laws Outdated? 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.
The laws are designed to protect young people who have less information and power than their and-over counterparts.
For example, minors may be less likely than adults to understand sexually transmitted diseases, have access to contraception, and have the resources to raise a child if they become pregnant.
Most people believe there is a clear line between young people wanting to date and have sex, and adults molesting or assaulting a child. And most would agree that the difference between intimacy and abuse should be reflected in the laws of each state.
But not all parties agree on how strict the laws should be. Critics of strict statutory rape laws argue that while sexual relationships between teens relatively close in age may be morally questionable, prosecuting every case would unnecessarily clog up the justice system.
But advocates of more diligent enforcement of statutory rape laws believe that the laws help combat the often underreported and hard-to-prove sexual abuse and rape of young girls. Others add that imprisoning men who are convicted of the crime could have a significant impact on teenage pregnancy and birth rates.
Know the Laws in Your State Dating is a normal part of teenage life. But with the privilege of dating comes serious responsibilities.
As a parent, you have to set boundaries and rules and take middle school and high school relationships seriously.