Until the late 20th century many states had provisions requiring that the teenage girl must be of previous "chaste character" in order for the sexual conduct to be considered criminal. The act has to be illegal under state or federal law to be charged with a crime under 2422(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. § 2260) makes it a federal crime to possess or create sexually explicit images of any person under 18 years of age; this creates a federal age of consent of 18 for pornography. If the offender is 21 years of age or older, the minimum is raised to 10 years in prison, and the offender is subject to sex offender sentencing guidelines.
In 1998 Mississippi became the last state to remove this provision from its code. forbids transporting a minor (defined as under 18) in interstate or foreign commerce with the intent of engaging in criminal sexual acts in which a person can be charged. Thus, while some conduct covered by the statute is highly culpable, these penalties apply even when consensual sex between someone under the age of eighteen and someone over the age of eighteen is entirely legal under state law, the non-commercial possession of an explicit picture or video clip of the person under the age of eighteen (such as a cell phone photograph of a naked sexual partner, under the age of eighteen, of the person taking the photo) may still constitute a serious federal child pornography felony. § 2251 (such as taking a suggestive cell phone picture of an otherwise legal sexual partner under the age of eighteen without an intent to share or sell the picture), face fines and a statutory minimum of 15 years to 30 years maximum in prison. However, if any of the following apply, then the age of consent becomes 18: However consensual, sexual intercourse within the 3-year age difference by a minor 13 through 17 years old may, upon a complaint, lead the Connecticut Superior Court to a "family with service needs" finding. However, if the victim is 14 or 15 years old and the actor is age 18 or younger and within 4 years of the victim's age, the crime is reduced to a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison.
The law also allows a mistake of age defense if the actor reasonably believed the victim was 16 or older.
The age limit rises to 18, according to IC35-42-4-7, if the actor is an adult who is the guardian, adoptive parent, adoptive grandparent, custodian, or stepparent of the minor; or a child care worker for the minor; or a military recruiter who is attempting to enlist over the minor.
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. All child prostitution offenses are class three felonies (class one felonies are capital offenses, class two felonies include second degree murder). The age of consent in Illinois is 17, and rises to 18 with someone who has a position of authority or trust over the victim.
(CA Penal Code § 261.5 (a)) There are no exceptions; all sexual activity with a person under the age of 18 (and not their spouse) is a criminal offense. So, while it is not a crime for a 17-year-old to have non-commercial sex with a 60-year-old in Colorado, it is a serious crime punishable by four to twelve years in prison for an 18 year old to engage in any sexual act, or to present at a "place of prostitution" with an intent do so, for money or any other thing of value with a seventeen-year-old with the reasonable belief that the minor was under eighteen years old. There is no close-in-age exception, crossing the age boundary is Criminal Sexual Assault.
So if a 15-year-old willingly has sex with a 17-year old, both have committed a crime, although it is only a misdemeanor. there is no statutory exception to the age of sexual consent.
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. Reasonable mistake of age, or similarity in age, is not a defense to these offenses. Bill 1139 was introduced in 2011 to decriminalize sexual relationships between persons 13–16 years old and those fewer than five years older, but the bill failed to pass.
The laws were designed to prosecute persons 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. 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. The sentence for a first time offender convicted of producing child pornography under 18 U. While mandatory minimum offenses do not apply to mere possession of child pornography, it is almost always the case that a person in possession of child pornography is also necessarily guilty of either receipt of child pornography, which carries a five-year mandatory minimum sentence, or production of child pornography, which carries a fifteen-year mandatory minimum sentence. Sessions, the Supreme Court hold 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 16. § 920), to which essentially only members of the United States Armed Services and enemy prisoners of war are subject, defines the age of consent as sixteen years in subsection but allows an exemption for people who are married to minors 12–15 years old. The crime "child molestation" makes it illegal for anyone to engage in "any immoral or indecent act to or in the presence of or with any child under the age of 16 years with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the person," as well as electronically transmit any depiction of such an act.
After the 1995 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. The United States Department of Justice seems to agree with this interpretation. Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (10 U. There is also a mistake-in-age defense if the minor is over 12, but not if the minor is under 12. 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. It carries a minimum sentence of 5 years and a max of 20 years in prison for a first-time offender, as well as mandatory counseling and sex offender sentencing guidelines.
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. In June 2005, a bill was proposed before the General Assembly of Georgia (USA) to raise the age of consent from 16 to 18.