What should you know about statutory rape?

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Few things can interfere with your life plans more than criminal charges. If your criminal charges involve alleged sexual misconduct, you may have the added burden of dealing with social stigma. Consequently, you should know what Kentucky law has to say about statutory rape.

Unlike other types of sexual assault, statutory rape typically occurs despite both partners consenting to intercourse. Still, because minors cannot legally consent, statutory rape is a crime.

What is the age of consent?

Generally, to be able to give informed consent for sexual intercourse, a person must be at least 16 years old. According to Kentucky law, though, there are some exceptions to this general rule. Most notably, 16- and 17-year-olds cannot consent to having sex with anyone who is 10 or more years or older than they are.

What are the penalties for statutory rape?

Statutory rape is typically a Class D felony in the Bluegrass State. Upon conviction, a person faces between one and five years behind bars. The charges and penalties for statutory rape become more serious as the age of the victim decreases, however. Furthermore, those who have prior criminal records often face harsher sentences following their convictions.

Does Kentucky have a Romeo and Juliet law?

Some states have Romeo and Juliet laws. These laws protect minors who have sexual intercourse with other minors from facing criminal prosecution. Kentucky does not have a Romeo and Juliet law. Therefore, it is unlawful for minors under the age of 16 to have sexual intercourse.

Ultimately, because a conviction for statutory rape is likely to follow you forever, it is critical to explore all possible defenses as early in the criminal process as possible.