When a person who is legally considered an adult has sexual contact with a legal minor, it is known as statutory rape. The word “rape” is used whether the minor consented or not. The law is written this way to protect inexperienced minors from being manipulated into sex by an adult. Legally, a minor cannot consent to sex with a person over the age of consent.
What Constitutes Statutory Rape
The “age of consent” is the age at which a person can legally have a sexual relationship with an adult. In most states this age is set somewhere in the late teens. In Wisconsin it is sixteen. This means that sixteen year olds can consent to sex with other people aged sixteen to eighteen. That is not the entirety of the law, however. The charges and penalties a defendant faces depend on the age of the alleged victim.
If a person is over sixteen but still a minor, it is still illegal for an adult to have sexual contact with that person in Wisconsin. This means a person over eighteen cannot legally have sexual contact with a person who is sixteen or seventeen. Sexual contact with a person who is between the ages of thirteen and sixteen is considered second degree sexual assault. If the alleged victim is under thirteen, that is first degree sexual assault, and can be punished by forty years in prison.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in Appleton
If you have been accused of statutory rape, you need to contact a knowledgeable and committed attorney right away. Contact Appleton statutory rape defense lawyers Hart Powell, S.C. at 414-271-9595.