Dating/Minnesota

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Dating/Minnesota

Could the parents of a 16 year old (16 being the legal age of concent in minnesota) do anything about her dating a boy thats 21?They wouldnt have any grounds for a restraining order would they?

Asked on May 7, 2009 under Criminal Law, Minnesota

Answers:

R.S.T., Member, NY Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

It is not a crime to date.  It may very well be a crime to engage in prohibited sexual conduct with this young girl.  And the question as you can see is what is a "significant relationship"? I don't think anyone can mistake going out to a movie and a slice a pizze for a "serious relationship."  The language is vague.  But the intent is clear.  The state is looking to protect minors from people who might be looking to abuse them or take advantage of them.  Both the state and her parents have an interest in preventing abuse. 

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Simply dating isn't grounds for a restraining order.  That would only happen if you had some proof that the young man had done something wrong, or was likely to do so, that could harm your daughter.

Some of the things that, if they were happening and you could prove them, would be likely to get a court's attention, would be if the man was giving your daughter alcohol or drugs, or if he was involving her in any other illegal activity.

The fact that the young woman is 16 does not change the fact that she is a minor, and her parents have the right to control where she goes and who she sees.  Of course, enforcing that right, between parent and child, is often far easier said than done.

You should talk to a lawyer, if you are seriously concerned about this situation.  You can find a qualified attorney near you at our website, http://attorneypages.com

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Oh yes they can.  You are more than 48 months older than her ---- so Criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree.

609.345 Criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree.

Subdivision 1. Crime defined. A person who engages in sexual contact with another person is guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree if any of the following circumstances exists:

(a) the complainant is under 13 years of age and the actor is no more than 36 months older than the complainant. Neither mistake as to the complainant's age or consent to the act by the complainant is a defense. In a prosecution under this clause, the state is not required to prove that the sexual contact was coerced;

(b) the complainant is at least 13 but less than 16 years of age and the actor is more than 48 months older than the complainant or in a position of authority over the complainant and uses this authority to cause the complainant to submit. Consent by the complainant to the act is not a defense. In any such case, it shall be an affirmative defense which must be proved by a preponderance of the evidence that the actor believes the complainant to be 16 years of age or older;

(c) the actor uses force or coercion to accomplish the sexual contact;

(d) the actor knows or has reason to know that the complainant is mentally impaired, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless;

(e) the complainant is at least 16 but less than 18 years of age and the actor is more than 48 months older than the complainant and in a position of authority over the complainant, and uses this authority to cause or induce the complainant to submit. Neither mistake as to the complainant's age nor consent to the act by the complainant is a defense;

(f) the actor has a significant relationship to the complainant and the complainant was at least 16 but under 18 years of age at the time of the sexual contact. Neither mistake as to the complainant's age nor consent to the act by the complainant is a defense;

(g) the actor has a significant relationship to the complainant, the complainant was at least 16 but under 18 years of age at the time of the sexual contact, and:

(i) the actor or an accomplice used force or coercion to accomplish the contact;

(ii) the complainant suffered personal injury; or

(iii) the sexual abuse involved multiple acts committed over an extended period of time.

Neither mistake as to the complainant's age nor consent to the act by the complainant is a defense;

(h) the actor is a psychotherapist and the complainant is a patient of the psychotherapist and the sexual contact occurred:

(i) during the psychotherapy session; or

(ii) outside the psychotherapy session if an ongoing psychotherapist-patient relationship exists.

Consent by the complainant is not a defense;

(i) the actor is a psychotherapist and the complainant is a former patient of the psychotherapist and the former patient is emotionally dependent upon the psychotherapist;

(j) the actor is a psychotherapist and the complainant is a patient or former patient and the sexual contact occurred by means of therapeutic deception. Consent by the complainant is not a defense;

(k) the actor accomplishes the sexual contact by means of deception or false representation that the contact is for a bona fide medical purpose. Consent by the complainant is not a defense; or

(1) the actor is or purports to be a member of the clergy, the complainant is not married to the actor, and:

(i) the sexual contact occurred during the course of a meeting in which the complainant sought or received religious or spiritual advice, aid, or comfort from the actor in private; or

(ii) the sexual contact occurred during a period of time in which the complainant was meeting on an ongoing basis with the actor to seek or receive religious or spiritual advice, aid, or comfort in private.

Consent by the complainant is not a defense.

Subd. 2. Penalty. A person convicted under subdivision 1 may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than ten years or to a payment of a fine of not more than $20,000, or both.

Subd. 3. Stay. Except when imprisonment is required under section 609.346, if a person is convicted under subdivision 1, clause (f), the court may stay imposition or execution of the sentence if it finds that:

(a) a stay is in the best interest of the complainant or the family unit; and

(b) a professional assessment indicates that the offender has been accepted by and can respond to a treatment program.

If the court stays imposition or execution of sentence, it shall include the following as conditions of probation:

(1) incarceration in a local jail or workhouse;

(2) a requirement that the offender complete a treatment program; and

(3) a requirement that the offender have no unsupervised contact with the complainant until the offender has successfully completed the treatment program.

HIST: 1975 c 374 s 6; 1976 c 124 s 9; 1979 c 258 s 14; 1981 c 51 s 4; 1983 c 204 s 4; 1984 c 588 s 8; 1984 c 628 art 3 s 11; 1985 c 24 s 8; 1985 c 286 s 18; 1985 c 297 s 7; 1986 c 351 s 9; 1986 c 444; 1Sp1986 c 3 art 1 s 81; 1987 c 94 s 2; 1989 c 290 art 4 s 15; 1992 c 571 art 1 s 18,19; 1993 c 326 art 4 s 21; 1994 c 636 art 2 s 36

1997  the Office of Revisor of Statutes, State of Minnesota.

 


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