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.
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 Are Statutory Rape Laws Outdated?
18 Tips, Tricks, and Hints for 18 Year Olds
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.
Dating rules for 18 year olds
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.
If you suspect that your child is sexually involved with someone under the age of 18, talk to your child about the potential consequences and seek the advice of an attorney who is familiar with the laws in your state. Start your recovery today by searching for treatment centers below.
My Son Is Dating a Minor: The following are just a few examples of Romeo and Juliet laws currently in place in the United States: In New Jersey, the age of consent is 16, but individuals who are at least 13 years of age can legally engage in sexual activities if their partner is less than 4 years older than them.
In the District of Columbia, it is illegal to engage in sexual intercourse with someone who is under the age of 16 the age of consent if the defendant is 4 or more years older than the victim.BOY ADVICE!!! Can a 14 year old date a 18 year old?
According to Louisiana law, it is a misdemeanor for someone aged 17 to 19 to have consensual sex with someone aged 15 to 17 if the difference between their ages is more than two years. California law declares it a misdemeanor to have sex with someone younger than 18 if the offender is less than three years older; someone more than three years older could be charged with a felony. Find a Treatment Facility.
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