Nebraska age dating laws
This table has been compiled from a combination of historical and contemporary sources. By , the first date chosen, many western nations had established an age of consent for the first time, typically of 12 or 13 years. By , when the influence of reform campaigns that established a new link between the age of consent and prostitution had run its course, most had revised their age upward, to 14 or 15 in European nations, and 16 in the Anglo-American world. In the last decades of the 20th century, states and nations with ages below those averages amended their laws to move closer to them.
Charges of statutory rape range from misdemeanor crimes to felonies, the penalties of which vary just as greatly. Such penalties vary by state, as well as by the specific circumstances involved. In general, penalties for statutory rape may include fines, probation and community service, or may require imprisonment for a year or more. In some circumstances, the perpetrator may be required to register as a sex offender in his or her state.
Penalties for statutory rape may be reduced, if the state has a Romeo and Juliet law, and the specified conditions are met.
Age of Consent Laws
The laws of some states require an individual convicted of statutory rape to register as a sex offender. Once registered, the name of the offender appears on a list that is made available to the public. Each state maintains its own registry, but the U. Registered sex offenders are subject to certain restrictions, such as maintaining a certain distance from schools and other places where children frequent.
Once registered as a sex offender, the offender is required to check in at certain intervals, and he must notify the authorities when he moves. Romeo and Juliet laws of each state attempt to address the issue of consenting young couples being prosecuted and labeled sex offenders for life. In February , Matthew Limon, a boy who had been diagnosed with mild mental retardation, turned A week after his birthday, he performed oral sex on another boy who was one month away from his 15th birthday. Both boys were students of a school for the developmentally disabled in Kansas. Kansas has a Romeo and Juliet law, which defines unlawful voluntary sexual relations:.
While this Romeo and Juliet law would seem to protect the young men, it specifically excluded same-sex relations. Matthew was charged with criminal sodomy. The trial court disagreed, and Matthew was convicted and sentenced to 17 years in prison. Had the act had occurred between a male and a female, the sentence would have been limited to a maximum of 15 months.
The Kansas Court of Appeals upheld the conviction on the basis that a U.
Supreme Court decision had ruled that sodomy laws were constitutional. Matthew appealed his case to the Kansas Supreme Court, which refused to review it. The case then made its way to the U. The Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower for further review. After spending 5 years in prison, Matthew was released on November 1, During the party, Wilson engaged in oral sex with year old Kristie, who confirmed the act was consensual.
Wilson also had sex with a year old girl that night. This girl, however, woke up naked and disoriented the next day, and claimed she was raped. This prompted a police investigation, in which condoms and a video tape of Wilson taking part in the sexual acts were found.
In , the age of consent was set at 10 or 12 in most states, with the exception of Delaware where it was 7. The final state to raise its age of general consent was Hawaii, which changed it from 14 to 16 in Age-of-consent laws were historically only applied when a female was younger than her male partner. By ages of consent were made gender-symmetric.
In Mississippi became the last state to remove this provision from its code. The laws were designed to prosecute people far older than the victims rather than teenagers close in age; therefore prosecutors rarely pursued teenagers in relationships with other teenagers even though the wordings of the laws made some close-in-age teenage relationships illegal. After the Landry and Forrest study concluded that men aged 20 and older produced half of the teenage pregnancies of girls between 15 and 17, states began to more stringently enforce age-of-consent laws to combat teenage pregnancy in addition to prevent adults from taking advantage of minors.
Kercher of the Criminal Justice Center of Sam Houston State University wrote that these laws are often referred to as "Romeo and Juliet laws", though they defined Romeo and Juliet as only referring to an affirmative defense against prosecution. On June 26, , both heterosexual and homosexual sodomy became legal between non-commercial, consenting adults in a private bedroom in all U. Supreme Court decision Lawrence v.
Limon , the Kansas Supreme Court used Lawrence as a precedent to overturn the state's "Romeo and Juliet" law , which prescribed lesser penalties for heterosexual than homosexual acts of similar age of consent-related offenses. From onwards states have started to enact Jessica's Law statutes, which provide for lengthy penalties often a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and lifetime electronic monitoring for the most aggravated forms of child sexual abuse usually of a child under age In , in Kennedy v.
Louisiana , the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the death penalty for rape of a child was unconstitutional. The act has to be illegal under state or federal law to be charged with a crime under b , and can even be applied to situations where both parties reside within the same state but use an instant messenger program whose servers are located in another state. This subsection is ambiguous on its face and seems to apply only when the minor is transported across state or international lines to a place where the conduct is already illegal to begin with.
Ages of consent in North America - Wikipedia
The United States Department of Justice seems to agree with this interpretation. So, the age is 12 years if one is within 4 years of the toyear-old's age, 16 under all other circumstances. This most likely reflects Congressional intent not to unduly interfere with a state's age-of-consent law, which would have been the case if the age was set to 18 under all circumstances. This law is also extraterritorial in nature to U. Citizens and Residents who travel outside of the United States. Although legislation tends to reflect general societal attitudes regarding male versus female ages of consent, Richard Posner notes in his Guide to America's Sex Laws: Supreme Court has held that stricter rules for males do not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution, on the theory that men lack the disincentives associated with pregnancy that women have, to engage in sexual activity, and the law may thus provide men with those disincentives in the form of criminal sanctions.
The Assimilative Crimes Act 18 U. Consequently, if an act is not punishable under any federal law such as 18 U. However, in Esquivel-Quintana v. Sessions , the Supreme Court held that in the context of statutory rape offenses that criminalize sexual intercourse based solely on the ages of the participants, the generic federal definition of "sexual abuse of a minor" requires the age of the victim to be less than There is also a mistake-in-age defense if the minor is over 12, but not if the minor is under Within the United States, United States servicemembers are further subject to the local state law both when off-post.
Romeo and Juliet Laws
The local state law is incorporated, for the most part, into federal law when on-post per the Assimilative Crimes Act 18 U. Depending upon the relevant status of forces agreement , United States servicemembers are also subject to the local criminal laws of the host nation for acts committed off-post. The age of consent in the District of Columbia is 16 with a close-in-age exemption for those within four years of age.
According to the Code of the District of Columbia, a relationship is considered "significant" if one of the partners is:. As of August 1, , the age of consent in each state in the United States is either 16 years of age, 17 years of age, or 18 years of age. The most common age of consent is 16,  which is a common age of consent in most other Western countries. These state laws are discussed in detail below. Most of these state laws refer to statutory rape using other names instead of "statutory rape" in particular.
Nevada criminalizes "statutory sexual seduction" while Pennsylvania criminalizes "statutory sexual assault". In most states there is not a single age in which a person may consent, but rather consent varies depending upon the minimum age of the younger party, the minimum age of the older party, or the differences in age. Some states have a single age of consent. In Smith and Kercher wrote "Because of the large number of potential statutory rape cases, it is said that many jurisdictions will "pick and choose" which cases they want to investigate and prosecute.
Smith and Kercher wrote that there had been "large inconsistencies" among the decisions of prosecution and sentencing of these cases, and there had been accusations that minority males who have sex with minority women resulting in pregnancy or who have sex with white women have faced the brunt of enforcement. The age of consent in Alabama is From by articles of the Code of Alabama:.
The State Legislature passed Act making it a crime for any school employee to have any sexual relations with a student under the age of A school employee includes a teacher, school administrator, student teacher, safety or resource officer, coach, and other school employee. Age of the student and consent is not a defense. So thus, the age of consent of 16 cannot be used. Any individual convicted of these offenses, regardless if they received prison time or not, will have to register as a Sex Offender for the remainder of their life.
There was also a law which prohibited K teachers from having sex with students under age 19, and violators could face prison time or get on the sex offender registry. Alaska Statutes — Title Criminal Law — Chapter The age of consent in Arizona is However, there exist in the legislation defenses to prosecution if the defendant is close-in-age to the "victim" or a spouse of the "victim". Arizona Revised Statute A. Under 18, the younger must not be less than 14, or if so, there is a defense if the minor is not more 4 years younger if 12 or above, not more 3 years younger if under Sexual intercourse of a major and a minor under 14 is a rape.
Arkansas Code — Title 5.
Criminal Offenses — Chapter In California, there is a crime of "Unlawful sexual intercourse", which is an act of sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 18 who is not the spouse of the person. So if a year-old willingly has sex with a year old, both have committed a crime, although it is only a misdemeanor. The punishment is varied, depending on the ages of the perpetrator and the victim, and there are more severe penalties if there is a wider gap between the age of the perpetrator and the age of the victim: There are also civil sanctions possible for a violation stated above.
There are separate crimes for committing sodomy with minors. There are separate crimes for committing any lewd or lascivious act with a person under the age of The age of consent, at the time applying only when the girl is the younger party, was 10 when California introduced its penal code in In the age of consent was raised to In the age of consent became The age of consent in California has been 18 since Some media sources reported that the age of consent in California in the s was 14 or 16 but in fact it was and has been In the s Governor of California Pete Wilson stated that there was a trend of men in their mid-to-late 20s having sex with and impregnating teenage girls around 14 years of age and that the statutory rape laws needed to be enforced to prevent this.
In Kristin Olsen , a Republican member of the State Assembly of California , sponsored a bill that criminalizes sexual relations between K teachers and students, including students over 18, as well as sexual text messages and other communications aimed at seducing a student. The bill was proposed after a year-old teacher and year-old high school student publicly announced that they were in a relationship.
By there had been civil court rulings in California stating that minors under 18 may consent to sexual activity, even though the age of consent is 18 under state criminal law. The age of consent in Colorado is 17; however, there exists in the legislation close-in-age exceptions , which allow those aged 15 and 16 to engage in acts with those less than ten years older and those less than 15 to engage in acts with those less than four years older.
A year-old may not, however, consent to sex with a person who is in a position of trust with respect to the person under the age of eighteen. Notwithstanding the age of consent, however, for purposes of child prostitution offenses in Colorado, a "child" means a person under the age of eighteen years.
Reasonable mistake of age, or similarity in age, is not a defense to these offenses.