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Statutory Rape/ Unlawful Intercourse With a Minor (Penal Code Section 261.5)

In the state of California it is illegal for a person over the age of 18 to have sexual intercourse with another person who is not their spouse and who is under the age of 18. This is called statutory rape and it is different from the crime of rape in that because of the alleged victim is under the age of 18 they cannot legally consent to the sexual intercourse. This law applies to any amount of penetration, and whether or not the person ejaculated does not matter. It does not apply to oral or anal sex however, as there are other laws that cover oral or anal sex with a minor.

In today’s world, it is has become much easier for persons to find themselves in situations where they can be charged with Unlawful Intercourse with a Minor, because of things like technology and internet that make it easier to disguise one’s true age, and also the fact that minors are becoming more sexually active, making it more probable that persons over the age of 18 and even under the age of 18 (because even minors can be charged with statutory rape) commit this crime more frequently. In addition, when dealing with sex crimes, there is always the possibility that a false claim against the person has been made for various reasons such as jealousy or revenge. In some cases, the parties involved are not too far apart in age, such as one just turned 18 while the other is 16, and may even have been dating for some time, however the parents may not like who their child is dating and they may file charges once the other party has turned 18 years of age.

Statutory rape can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case. If the person charged has an age difference of no more than 3 years with the alleged victim, then he or she will be charged as a misdemeanor. If they are more than 3 years older than the alleged victim then they can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. If one party is 21 years of age or older and the alleged victim is 16 years of age or younger then they can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony but with harsher penalties. In either case, a conviction for statutory rape does not require registration as a sex offender.

There may be defenses that a skilled attorney can use in your case. Contact Orange County Criminal Defense attorney Ali Komaili if you have been charged with Statutory Rape/Unlawful Intercourse or any other criminal matter in Orange County.