Take, for example, the widely publicized case of Marcus Dwayne Dixon, an 18-year-old high school honor student and star football player who had sex with a 15-year-old female classmate.She claimed it was rape, he claimed it was consensual, and a jury acquitted him of the charges.
However, because of their age difference, the jury still found Dixon guilty of statutory rape and aggravated child molestation, and sentenced him to a mandatory 10 years in prison under Georgia law.
In May 2004, the Georgia Supreme Court overturned Dixon’s conviction, stating that he should’ve been prosecuted on the lesser charge of misdemeanor statutory rape, which carries a maximum sentence of one year.
Some states base the penalty for violations on the age of the offender, with older offenders receiving harsher penalties.
For example, California, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, and New York reserve their harshest statutory rape penalty for offenders who are age 21 or older.
Regardless of the designation, these crimes are based on the premise that until a person reaches a certain age, he is legally incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse.
Thus, instead of including force as a criminal element, theses crimes make it illegal for anyone to engage in sexual intercourse with anyone below a certain age, other than his spouse.Instead, statutory rape is a sex crime that solely considers the age of both sexual partners.All cases of statutory rape involve consenting sexual partners.A two-year age difference isn’t particularly alarming, and dating is fairly standard at that age.But if these teens are having sex, and you live in a state where prosecutors aggressively enforce the law, it’s possible that your son could be charged with statutory rape. Laws that prohibit minors from having alcohol in their bodies, but which do so without reference to a blood, breath, or urine test, are not considered as prohibiting Internal Possession as defined by APIS.