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Thus, if an adult has sex with a minor below the age of consent, the adult may be charged with statutory rape.
The law suggests that those who are below Arizona’s age of consent, which is 18 years old, are unable to consent to sexual activity with an individual who is older than them.16: Any person under the age of consent is deemed to be mentally incapable of consenting to sex.
The purpose of our state’s tough sex offense statues is to protect our children from sexual predators, and we can all support that intent.
We can be grateful also that these defenses were created by our legislators to spare young people in consensual, close-in-age relationships from being treated as predators under the law.
There are two defenses to this charge in Arizona which have direct bearing on teenage romances. The rule states that if the age difference between the mutually consenting, minor partners is 24 months or less, and no one is 14 years or younger, and no one is 19 years old and not in high school, the sexual conduct is unlikely to warrant a charge by the county attorney.
However, if the age difference is greater than 24 months, by even one day, charges can be brought, potentially against both parties.
“Your Family and the Law” is written by Claudia Gilburd, founder of Teen Law School, Inc.This means that any person 17 years old or younger in our state, unless legally married, is considered incapable of agreeing to sexual behavior and therefore any sexual behavior they are engaged in (heterosexual or homosexual) is illegal.The relevant criminal charge in our state is felony Sexual Misconduct with a Minor, commonly known in other states as statutory rape.Every parent knows the worry that comes when teenage children fall in love.Intense emotions, raging hormones and the pressures of a highly promiscuous teen culture can push almost any child into early sexual involvement.