Have I committed a sex crime if I had sexual contact with a minor but not intercourse?

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Have I committed a sex crime if I had sexual contact with a minor but not intercourse?

I was 19 years old; she was 15 years old. We made out. I touched her chest; she touched my genitals. No other contact occurred. This happened only once. Have I committed a crime?

Asked on July 17, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Under section 21.11 of the Texas penal code, Indency with a Child, it is a crime to engage in sexual contact with someone under the age of 17. Sexual contact is touching the breast, anus, or genitals, or causing the child (the person under the age of 17) to touch your breast, anus, or genitals. There is a defense to this crime if you are not more than three years older than the child, but from what you write, you are four years older (19 vs. 15) and did not use force, threats, etc. Therefore, it appears that if you "made out" with a 15 year old girl while you are 19, that you have in fact committed a crime. (Note: you don't specify your gender; if you are female yourself, then you also committed the crime of homosexuality--Texas is one of the states which still makes consensual homesexual relationships or sexual activity illegal.)


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