In Michigan, an adult may not suffer charges due to Statutory Rape, as there’s no actual crime charged called Statutory Rape. However, a sexual relationship between an adult and a minor is still a felony in Michigan, and those involved will be charged.
The term statutory rape is often used when talking about an accuser’s age and whether legally he or she is able to consent to sexual relations with an adult.
What is Statutory Rape?
Statutory Rape means that a minor was involved in sexual activity despite him or her being under the age of consent.
Age of consent is how old a person must be to be able to consent to any sexual relations or sexual intercourse. If a person older than the consent age has intercourse with another person younger than the consent age, it’s Statutory Rape.
The age of consent in every state is different. Knowing the age of consent in your state and the statutory rape laws will make the difference between having consensual sex or non-consensual sex or sexual intercourse. This knowledge can avoid criminal charges and several problems that follow a person for the rest of their life.
What is the age for statutory rape
The legal age of consent in Michigan is 16 years old. This means that having a sexual relationship with a person of 15 years old or younger, is statutory rape.
For purposes of criminal sexual conduct charges, a person is legally an adult and able to consent to sexual intercourse when they are 16 years or older. This includes activities that involve sexual penetration or sexual intercourse.
Meanwhile, a person who is 15 years or younger is a minor and is unable to consent to sexual intercourse.
For current Michigan laws, if you are under the age of 16 years, you are legally incapable to consent to ANY type of sexual relations or sexual intercourse. Meaning that no matter what the circumstances or who is the person you’re with, it can result in statutory rape charges.
Even if a minor wants to take part in sexual intercourse with an adult, the law on statutory rape says that he or she cannot. Under Michigan law, this is unlawful sex or statutory rape.
What is considered statutory rape
To understand statutory rape better, let’s start with the difference between consensual sex and non-consensual sex.
Consensual sex (oral, vaginal, or anal) is defined as sexual contact or sexual intercourse between two willing adults that legally consent to such sexual acts. In other words, both adults engaging wanted to take part in the sexual activity.
Non-consensual sex is sexual contact or sexual intercourse between two people to which one is not willing or can’t legally consent. The last one is statutory rape.
An example of this is if two people engage in sexual contact or sexual intercourse, and one of them is under the legal age of consent. Then the other may be charged with statutory rape, criminal sexual conduct 1st degree, and criminal sexual conduct 3rd degree. It does not matter the type of relationship the accuser and accused have.
Beware that Michigan law also prohibits teachers from engaging in sex with students who are 16 or 17 years old.
Is statutory rape when two minors are involved?
If two minors engage in sexual contact or sexual intercourse, even if they both wanted to, under the state statutory rape law it is automatically considered to be non-consensual (statutory rape) on both. Each minor can legally be charged with CSC 3rd degree (criminal sexual conduct third degree).
What is the sentence for statutory rape
The CSC 3rd-degree penalty in Michigan may include prison, jail, probation, and having to register on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry, which is under the U.S. Department of Justice.
There are NO defenses to having sexual intercourse, statutory rape, with a minor!
The charges for statutory rape (CSC 3rd degree) under the statutory rape laws will change the rest of your life.
If you are under the age of 24, there may be ways to avoid both having a CSC 3rd-degree charge on your record and having to register on the Michigan sex offender registration.
To achieve it, you’ll need a lawyer who focuses solely on sexual assault cases and knows all the nuances of the law when it comes to sexual assault charges. You require an attorney who can navigate the criminal justice system with precision and expert knowledge.
Statutory Rape Defenses
Attorney Nicole Blank Becker is an attorney who solely focuses on sex crimes, and has all the credentials to back up her well-respected reputation.
Nicole has decades of expertise and knowledge as the prior Chief of the Sex Unit to aggressively and vigorously fight for you.
Due to Nicole’s 20+ years of experience, as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, she has yet to meet an opponent she can’t outsmart.
From the very beginning, Nicole establishes a solid attorney-client relationship that puts her clients at ease when sharing their sensitive information, which is critical in getting a favorable outcome.
Contact Nicole Blank Becker now for a consultation. She can answer all your questions and help you with a criminal defense that can define your future. Choosing the right attorney to represent you in case of statutory rape charges will be one of the most important decisions you make in your life.
FAQ on Statutory Rape
Q: WHAT IF THE ACCUSER LIED ABOUT THEIR AGE?
A: In Michigan statutory rape laws, the mistake of age is NOT a defense. It does NOT matter what age or age difference he or she told you they were.
A minor may purposely lie to you about their certain age. But when it comes to the law on statutory rape, it does NOT matter that a minor lied to you about their age or if they say they’re 18 years old.
The adult, who is of the legal age of consent, has strict liability and is responsible for finding out and confirming the age of the person you choose to engage in a sexual act with.
Therefore, to prevent engaging in criminal activity such as statutory rape, you’re the one who must investigate if the other party is telling the truth about their age before engaging in sexual relations. That’s because the only person who will be charged with a sexual misconduct charge will be you.
Q: WHAT IF THE MINOR INITIATED SEX?
A: Even if a minor initiates sex with you, an adult over 16 years old, the law says that you, as the adult, will be charged with criminal sexual conduct.
Michigan’s laws state that a minor has no legal right to give consent, meaning they’re under the age of consent.
Even if the minor tells you that they’re willing to get involved with you sexually, it is still against the law to do so.
Q: WHAT IF THEIR PARENTS ARE OK WITH IT?
A: In Michigan, there is NO law that says a parent can waive the age of consent for a child.
Therefore, regardless of what the parents allow a minor to do when it comes to sex, the law in Michigan stands. And any sexual encounter with a child under 16 years old is illegal.
Q: WHAT IF WE MET ON A DATING WEBSITE AND HE/SHE TOLD ME THEY WERE 18 YEARS OLD?
A: Most dating websites signs that the users must be at least 18 years old. With that said, it is very easy for a minor to lie and sign in as an 18-year-old. That’s because not all dating sites do background checks to confirm a person’s age.
Whatever age the person claims to be, so long as it’s 18 years or older, they will be allowed to participate on the website.
Because of it, you must always check the person you’re talking to on those websites before meeting them. This can assure both you and the person you’re talking to security.
Before meeting up with someone through a dating site, and engaging in sexual acts or sexual penetration, you must confirm that the other person is in fact the age they “claim” to be.
If you don’t, after that one-night stand or once you’re in too deep emotionally to say no, you will find yourself slapped with a criminal sexual conduct charge.
Q: WHAT IF I DIDN’T KNOW THEIR AGE UNTIL AFTER WE HOOKED UP?
A: The risk you take by romantically talking to a minor is tremendous. You should find out ASAP what the age of the other person is.
Typically, there is a period before meeting up, when you get to know one another. Ask probing questions to find out how old that person is.
You should ask things such as
- Where they went to high school or college
- When they graduated from high school or college
- Where they lived when they were in college
- Who were some of their favorite teachers or classes
- When did they get their first job
- How long they’ve been working on their current job
And other questions that confirm a person’s age.
This way, you can do your own investigation and confirm the age of the person you may end up engaging in sexual contact or sexual intercourse.
Q: DO I NEED TO IMMEDIATELY FIND THE AGE OF EVERY PERSON I MEET?
A: YES! You must discover a person’s age immediately after you met them.
Do not wait until you have developed an interest or feelings for this person to ask for their age. Once you begin to develop feelings or a real curiosity for that person, your moral walls begin to fall, and the odds of being able to say “no” greatly decrease.
The more you talk online with a person, the higher the chances of meeting up, and allowing that meeting to lead to sexual activity greatly increases.
By being naive, you are setting yourself up for failure and a future potential child sexual abuse, child molestation, and criminal sexual conduct (CSC) charge.
Q: WHAT IF THE MINOR DOESN’T WANT TO PRESS CHARGES?
A: It does not matter. Commonly, the minor is NOT the one who wants to press charges. It is typically the parent, aunt, uncle, stepdad, teacher, therapist, doctor, etc.
If someone finds out that you and a minor are having sexual relationships and are engaged in sexual penetration, that person can go directly to the police. Then they can request an investigation for possible sexual assault.
Then, no matter what the minor says, you will be facing charges of sexual abuse or CSC.
Q: WHY WOULD ANYONE TURN ME IN IF THE MINOR CONSENTED TO SEX?
A: Michigan has what is commonly referred to as mandatory reporters.
Mandatory reporters are those people who, once they are informed that sexual activity between a minor and an adult or a minor and another minor may have occurred, are REQUIRED to report that information to Child Protective Services (CPS).
The CPS then will go to the POLICE and you, as the adult, will be under investigation.
Q: ARE THERE ANY EXCEPTIONS FOR MINOR PARTNERS?
A: There are no exceptions for minor sexual encounters and sexual activity. No matter if there’s penetration or not.
If two minors have sex with one another, still there are NO exceptions. Both parties involved in sexual activity can be charged with committing a sex crime.
Typically, whichever minor goes to the police first does not get charged. Also, remember that it may not be the minor themselves that goes to the police. It may be another adult who found out about it and press the charges. That person may get enraged, then go to the police, and make the minor go with him or her.
For example, if a senior in high school (age 17 years or older) has sexual intercourse with a freshman (age 14 or 15), the senior can be charged with aggravated sexual assault or CSC 3rd degree. It does not matter if the senior and freshman are boyfriend and girlfriend, or if the freshman had permission from their parents.
Suppose the above example relationship goes on for some time with no one knowing. Then one day an adult, such as the minor mother, finds a text or email about the minor being intimate, which can result in a criminal charge. Even if it happened years before the finding.
Parents are often the ones responsible for turning in their child or the child that “did this to their child” to the authorities. That’s because they’re concerned that their child was taken advantage of because he or she was a minor, and now someone has to pay.
And if you were the adult in the relationship, you’re the one who gets charged. In this example, you would be charged with sexual assault or CSC 3rd degree.
Q: WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS ON STATUTORY RAPE IN MICHIGAN?
A: There’s a time frame for the victim to file a sexual assault claim in Michigan.
- 2 years of the act, if involving assault or battery
- 5 years of the act, if the perpetrator lived with the victim
- By the victim’s 19th birthday, if they were under 18 years old at the time of the abuse