Can my daughter be arrested for rape?

We live in Oregon. My daughter was dating a boy and they were both under 18 years old. They continued to have sex after she turned 18. They are not dating but he is basically stalking her and threating to contact cops if she doesnt respond. He is controlling and manipulative. Can she get arrested for rape when the only reason she got on birthcontrol was because of him?

Asked on May 3, 2016 under Criminal Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You don't indicate what is the boy's age: that is a critical factor, since whether it is a crime, and the "degree" (or seriousness) of the crime depends on his age as well as hers. The short answer is, if he is under 18 while she is over 18, then it very well may be a form of rape or sexual abuse: the kind commonly known as "statutory rape." Those offenses are based on the notion that in the law, someone under a state's statutorily (i.e. by statute or law) defined age of consent *cannot* give consent to sexual activity, the same way someone under the age of 18 can't legally smoke or vote, or under the age of 21 drink. It has nothing to do with what the person wants or agrees to, or whether there is any harm: there is a bright line drawn by the law which says that if you are under a certain age, you can't consent to sex, so if someone over that age has sex with you, it is equivalent to rape (like having sex with a drugged or mentally impaired person who cannot consent). Again, though, exactly when it is a crime, and how serious it could be, depends on the respective ages of the two people, so you may wish to repost your question with their exact ages.


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