STATUTORY RAPE – THE AGE OF CONSENT – CONSENSUAL SEX
While Michigan does NOT have an actual criminal charge called “Statutory Rape” (statutory rape laws), the term statutory rape is often used interchangably when talking about an accuser’s age and whether or not legally he/she is able to consent to sexual relations or sexual intercourse with you. The term “Statutory Rape” comes from the idea that the statute in whatever state you live in has an age in which a person can legally consent in any sexual relations or sexual intercourse. If the person who engages in sexual relations or sexual intercourse is under the statutory age allowed, it is often referred to as “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 nonconsexual sex or sexual intercourse, i.e. Statutory Rape.
THE AGE OF CONSENT IN MICHIGAN IS 16 YEARS OLD
Per the state law in Michigan, for purposes of Criminal Sexual Conduct charges, a person who is 16 years of age or years older is considered an adult and able to consent to sexual relations which involves sexual penetration or sexual intercourse, while a person who is 15 years of age or younger is a minor, unable to consent to sexual relations or sexual intercourse. If you are under 16 years of age, you may not consent to ANY type of sexual relations or sexual intercourse, no matter what the circumstances as it can result into statutory rape. Even if a minor wants to participated in sexual relations or sexual intercouse with an adult, the law concerning statutory rape says that he/she cannot. This is considered Statutory Rape.
CONSENSUAL SEX vs. NON CONSENSUAL SEX
Consensual Sex (oral, vaginal or anal) is defined as sexual relations or sexual intercourse between two willing adults, in other words, both adults wanted to participate. While Non Consensual Sex (statutory rape) is defined as sexual relations or sexual intercourse between two adults, and one of the adults claims they did not want to participate (commonly known as Rape). Additionally, Non Consensual sex is defined as sexual relations or sexual intercourse that occur when an adult (16 years old and years older) engages in any type of sexual relations with a minor (15 years old or under) (also statutory rape).
- If two adults engage in sexual relations, and one of the adults claims to have been raped, you may be charged with statutory rape or Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st Degree or Criminal Sexual Conduct 3rd Degree. It does not matter the type of relationship you and the accuser have. Meaning, if the adult is your girlfriend, boyfriend, ong time lover, husband or wife who engaged in what he/she now claims to have been Non Consensual sexual relations he/she can still claim Statutory Rape . It will end up being a “He Said – She Said” or “He Said – He Said” or “She Said She Said.” These types of claims are often best sorted out in a Jury Trial.
- If two minors engage in sexual relations, even if they both wanted to, under the state law, it is automatically considered to be Non Consensual (statutory rape) on both parts of the minor. Each minor can legally be charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct 3rd Degree.
What Is Statutory Rape?
Frequently Asked Questions about “Statutory Rape” Charges
Q: WHAT IF SHE/HE LIED ABOUT THEIR AGE?
A: In Michigan statutory rape laws, the mistake of age is NOT a defense. It does NOT matter what age he/she told you they were. A minor may purposely lie to you about their age. When it comes to the law concerning statutory rape, it does NOT matter that a minor lied to you about his/her age or if she/he says she’s/he’s 18 years older. You, as the individual who is of legal age of consent, an adult, is responsible for finding out and confirming the age of the person you choose to engage in sexual activity with. The only person who will be charged with a Criminal Sexual Conduct charge will be you.
Q: WHAT IF THE MINOR IS THE ONE WHO INITIATED SEX – SEXUAL RELATIONS?
A: Even if a minor initiates sex with you, an adult, the law says that you, as the adult, will be charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct – Statutory Rape – because the minor has no legal right to give consent (age of consent). Even if the minor tells you that he/she is willing to get involved with you sexually, it is still against the law to do so.
Q: WHAT IF HIS/HER 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 your parents allow when it comes to sex with a minor, the law in Michigan stands. There are times when one parent will look the other way and allow for it, but the other parent is dead set against it. Don’t risk the other parent finding out and telling the authorities.
Q: WHAT IF WE MET ON A DATING WEBSITE AND SHE TOLD ME SHE WAS 18 YEARS OLD?
A: In order to be on most dating websites you have to be at least 18 years old or years older. It is very easy for a minor to lie and sign in as 18 years old or years older. Most dating sites do not do background check to confirm a person’s age. Whatever age the person claims to be, so long as they are 18 or years older, they will be allowed to participate on the website. Therefore, you enter at your own risk. In other words, prior to arranging to meet up with someone through a dating site, and engage in sexual acts or do some sexual penetration, you must do your homework and 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 too deep in emotionally to say No, you will find yourself slapped with a Criminal Sexual Conduct charge.
Q: WHAT IF I DIDN’T KNOW HER AGE UNTIL AFTER WE MET UP AND 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 of time, prior to meeting up, that you get to know one another. Ask probing questions to find out how old that person is. For example, ask where they went to High School/college, when they graduated from High School/college, where they lived when they were in High School/college, who were some of their favorite teachers or classes? This way, by a touch of a few buttons on the internet, you can do your own investigation and confirm the age of the person you may end up falling for and engage in sexual relations with.
Q: ARE YOU SAYING THAT I SHOULD IMMEDIATELY FIND THE AGE OF EVERY PERSON I MEET IN PERSON OR ON THE INTERNET?
A: YES! Look them up NOW! Do not wait until you have developed an interest or feelings for this person. Once you begin to develop feelings and/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 lure of meeting up and/or allowing that meeting to lead to sexual activity greatly increases. By being naive, you are setting yourself up for failure and a future Criminal Sexual Conduct charge.
Q: WHAT IF THE MINOR DOESN’T WANT TO PRESS CHARGES?
A: It does not matter. It is common that the minor is NOT the one who wants to press charges. It is typically the parent, aunt, uncle, step-dad, teacher, therapist, doctor, etc. If someone finds out that you and a minor are having sexual relations and engaged in sexual penetration, that person can go directly to the police and request that they begin an investigation for possible sexual assault, of which they will. Then, no matter what the minor says, you will be facing charges of Criminal Sexual Conduct.
Q: WHY WOULD ANYONE TURN ME IN IF THE MINOR I AM HAVING SEX WITH WANTS TO HAVE SEX WITH ME?
A: Michigan has what is commonly referred to as Mandatory Reporters. Mandatory Reporters are those people that once they are informed that sexual activity between a minor and an adult or a minor and another minor may have occurred, they are REQUIRED to report that information to Child Protective Services (CPS), which in turn goes to the POLICE.
Q: ARE THERE ANY EXCEPTIONS FOR MINOR PARTNERS?
A: If two minors have sex with one another, there are NO exceptions. Both parties involved in sexual relations can be charged with committing a sex crime. It sounds ridiculous, but it happens. Typically, whichever minor goes to the police first, does not get charged. And remember, it may not be the minor himself/herself that goes to the police. It may be another adult who found out about it. That person is enraged and goes to the police and makes the minor go with him/her.
Example: If a senior in High School (age 17 or years older) has sexual relations with a freshman (age 14 or 15), the senior can be charged with sexual assault or Criminal Sexual Conduct 3rd Degree. It does not matter if the senior and freshman are boyfriend/girlfriend, or the freshman had permission from his/her parents.
Example: The above relationship goes on for quite some time without anyone knowing. All of a sudden, one day, your mom finds a text/email about you being intimate with a 14 year old approximately two (2) years ago. Parents are often the ones responsible for turning in their child or the child that “did this to their child” to the authorities. Parents are concerned that their child was taken advantage of because he/she was a minor and now someone has to pay. Guess who gets charged? You! In this example you will be charged with sexual assault or Criminal Sexual Conduct 3rd Degree.
DEFENSES FOR STATUTORY RAPE
There are NO defenses to having sexual relations – Statutory Rape – with a minor!.
The consequences of being charged with Statutory Rape (Criminal Sexual Conduct 3rd Degree) under the statutory rape laws will change the rest of your life forever. The penalties for being charged with CSC 3rd Degree may include prison, jail, probation and having to register on the Michigan Sex Offender Regsitry which is under the U.S Department of Justice.
If you are under the age of 24, there may be ways to avoid both having a Criminal Sexual Conduct 3rd Degree charge on your record and having to register with the Michigan Sex Offender Regsitry. In order to achieve such magic, you 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. An attorney who can navigate the criminal justice system with precision and expert knowledge.
Don’t trust your life in just anyone’s hands, Attorney Nicole Blank Becker, an attorney who solely focuses on Sex Crimes, has all the credentials to back up her well respected reputation and is ready to use her years 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, Nicole has yet to meet an opponent she can’t outsmart. Contact Nicole now to answer all your questions and request that she fight for you in the toughest fight of your life. Deciding which criminal defense lawyer you choose to represent you will be one of the most important decisions you make in your life.
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