Is it legal for a 21 year old to have sex with a 16 year old?

The 21 year old is not in a position of authority over the 16 year old and the 16 year old consents to the act. In AK.

Asked on November 28, 2011 under Criminal Law, Alaska


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

In AK, the laws on statutory rape depends on the age difference between the 2 partners. The law recognizes statutory rape only in cases involving an age difference of more than 3 years. For example, a 20 year old who has sex with a 15 year old is guilty of statutory rape. However, a 17 year old who has consensual sex with a 15 year old is not guilty of statutory rape.

However, this 3 year age difference only applies if 1 of the parties is under age of 16. This is because the "age of consent" in AK is 16. This is the age at which an individual may legally consent to have sex with someone over 18. So if both parties are age 16 or older there can be no claim of statutory rape.

That having been said, the "age of majority" is 18. So there could potentially be possible a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor or similar charges, depending on specific AK law.  

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