This means that, at that age, an individual can have sex with whomever they wish as long as that person is consenting and they are the same age or older.
To have sex with someone under the age of consent is a strict liability crime (in most states) known as statutory rape.
Many states, including Arizona, take their age of consent laws very seriously and violation of those laws has serious criminal repercussions.
The Class B felony, punishable by as many as 20 years in prison, becomes a Class A felony, punishable by as many as 50 years in prison, if the perpetrator is at least 21; if the act was committed with a weapon or threat of force; if serious bodily injury results; or if the person knew the victim was slipped a drug without his or her knowledge.
Sexual misconduct with a minor is defined as a person at least 18 years of age engaging in intercourse or deviate sexual conduct with someone aged 14 or 15.
Gensel said Indiana law was amended within the past few years to address such cases.
Indiana law now states a person can have sex with someone under the age of consent as long as he or she is not more than four years older than the underage person and if the relationship was ongoing. A person accused of a sex crime also might be able to avoid prosecution if he or she can prove they reasonably believed the victim was at least 16 years old.
Even though you may not be a teenager anymore, you once were a teenager and are able to recognize the difficulty that comes with that period in life.
Most teenagers experience intense emotions, rampant hormones, and according to recent scientific studies – a reduced ability to make reasonable decisions due to an underdeveloped brain.
An example of when the Romeo and Juliet defense may apply is if consensual sexual intercourse has taken place between the victim who is 17 years old and the defendant who is 18 years and is attending high school or has graduated.
The advantage of using the Romeo and Juliet defense is that it could mitigate the defendant’s liability for the crime or clear it altogether.
Those who break Arizona’s age of consent laws potentially expose themselves to prosecution that can lead to incarceration or mandatory enrollment as a sex offender on the sex offender registry until age 25, at the least.