If a 19 year boy old has sex with a girl who tells him that she is 17 years old, what type of penalty is he looking at if she lied and is only 14?

Is it child endangerment or statutory rape?

Asked on March 23, 2012 under Criminal Law, New Jersey


Gerard Donley / Donley Law Office

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

In Rhode Island, regardless of the reasonableness of mistaking the girl's age, the offense would be 1st degree sexual assault child molestation and carries a penalty of up to life in prison.  The elements of the crime do not take into account the error or mistake on the adult's part.  The age and the sex act is all that is required to prove the case.

Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

In most states this will be considered statuory rape, meaning  that because she was under the age of 16, she does not possess the mental capacity to consent to sexual intercourse with an adult, which is a serious felony in most states. Even if she misrepresented herself as being 17, in the eyes of the law she is 14. Not certain if criminal charges have or will be filed against you, but my advice is to speak to a criminal defense attorney in your area immediately to determine laws on statutory rape or criminal sexual conduct applicable to your state.

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