Can the state press charges on someone who is 20 for dating and being sexually active with someone who is 15 if they had parental consent?

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Can the state press charges on someone who is 20 for dating and being sexually active with someone who is 15 if they had parental consent?

My son is 15 and his boyfriend is 20 they have been together for 8 months and they have had my concent from the very start of their relationship. Their relationship was reported to the police resulting in my son’s 20 year old boyfriend being arrested. Can the state of colorado press charges on my son’s boyfriend if I don’t agree or want to have charges pressed?

Asked on October 26, 2017 under Criminal Law, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Parental consent makes no difference in a situation such as this. The law is clear, in CO the age of consent for sexual activity is 17 years old. This means that someone under this age lacks the legal ability to voluntarily engage is sexual relations. However, as in many other states, where a minor is concerned the age difference between the 2 parties in question is of legal improtance. A "close in age exception" to CO's age of consent law allows those aged 15 and 16 to engage in acts with those less than 10 years older without the older individual being subject to legal consequences. That is unless the older person is in position of trust (i.e. a teacher, coach, etc.). In such a s case, they would be subject to criminal prosecution.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Parental consent makes no difference in a situation such as this. The law is clear, in CO the age of consent for sexual activity is 17 years old. This means that someone under this age lacks the legal ability to voluntarily engage is sexual relations. However, as in many other states, where a minor is concerned the age difference between the 2 parties in question is of legal improtance. A "close in age exception" to CO's age of consent law allows those aged 15 and 16 to engage in acts with those less than 10 years older without the older individual being subject to legal consequences. That is unless the older person is in position of trust (i.e. a teacher, coach, etc.). In such a s case, they would be subject to criminal prosecution.


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