What Is The Punishment For Statutory Rape ?
The sexual relation between the parties below the age of consent is called as statutory rape. Consensual sex below the age of consent is illegal. It is a violation of the law. The laws governing statutory rape vary from state to state, with the age of consent differing in different states. There are also different names for this crime.
There are very few laws at the federal level that deal with statutory rape. But, the states bring statutory rape under state laws covering sexual assault, unlawful sexual intercourse, rape or carnal knowledge of a child.
The law punishing persons involved in statutory rape includes a wide range of offenses starting with misdemeanors to high degree felonies. Two criteria are used to determine the degree of offense in a case of statutory rape. They are the age of the victim and the difference in age between the accused and the victim. The factors that affect the level of offence are the past sex offences of the accused, influence of drugs or alcohol, resulting in pregnancy and the like.
In some of the states, statutory rape with a minor under 14 years of age will be viewed as a serious felony, whereas the same crime with someone older than 14, but below the age of consent may be treated as misdemeanor. In some of the states, a statutory rape is a felony attracting mandatory incarceration.
Each state has its own yardstick of arriving at the seriousness of the offence and classifies them accordingly. Within a given state the range of offenses may involve a variety of factors and include a wide spectrum of charges.
The more the age difference between the victim and the perpetrator, the harsher the penalties in some states. But, in other states, if the age of the accused is above 21, it is just enough to bracket the crime under higher degree of offense.
The punishment for the statutory rape ranges from imprisonment, penalties, probation and court-ordered treatment. It is mandatory in many states that anyone convicted of statutory rape has to be registered as sex offender.
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