As the age of consent in this particular state is 16, which the girlfriend was not, the year-old pleaded guilty to criminal sexual misconduct and was sentenced to one year in jail plus three years' probation. When the two rekindled their relationship, it was a violation of the young man's probation, which led to the young man being sentenced to five to 15 years in prison.
He served six years behind bars and, once released, had to register as a sex offender. He now must wear a GPS device so his daily movements can be monitored. Romeo and Juliet Laws Some state legislatures, such as Texas, have responded to the parental demands for change by enacting so-called "Romeo and Juliet" laws. These types of laws exempt some teenagers and young adults engaging in sexual relations with someone under the age of consent from being classified as sex offenders.
Under Texas' version of the law, if a young adult over the age of 17 has consensual sexual relations with someone under the age of 17, but at least 15 years old, with no more than a four-year age difference between the two, the new law will not require the older party to register as a sex offender if convicted of statutory rape. The new law also allows those convicted under the old law to clear their names. Those who had to register previously as sex offenders for consensual sexual encounters with a person under the age of 17 can ask the court to review their case.
If the court finds that the sexual relationship was consensual and the offender is not a threat to the public, it can exempt the offender from future sex offender registration. This offense is a second degree felony , and penalties include at least two and up to 20 years in prison. This offense is a second degree felony, and penalties include at least two and up to 20 years in prison.
Sex Offender Registration State law requires, in addition to the applicable fines and prison time, that people convicted of certain sexual crimes including some instances of statutory rape register as sex offenders. Minors are legally incapable of giving consent to having sex; so for example, if Jen, a 13 year old willingly has sex with Tony, her 21 year old boyfriend, Tony can be charged with rape, since Jen is not legally capable of giving consent in the first place.
However, if Tony were to rape Jen force her to have sex against her will , he would have no protection under the law even if the two are married. In Texas, there is a Romeo and Juliet exemption for consensual sex between a minor who 14, 15, 16, or 17, and someone who is three or fewer years older than the minor. Mistake of age Defendants accused of statutory rape often claim that they had no reason to know that their partner was underage.
They may argue that the victim herself represented that she was older than she was, and that a reasonable person would have believed her. But even if this is true, a defendant cannot rely on a mistake of age—even a reasonable one— to avoid conviction in Texas. See a Lawyer If you are facing a statutory rape charge, consider consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney who regularly practices in your area.
Romeo and Juliet Law in Texas
Texas Statutory Rape Laws
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