What are my legal rights if, while I was 14 years old, I was in a non-consensual sexual relationship with an 18 year old?

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What are my legal rights if, while I was 14 years old, I was in a non-consensual sexual relationship with an 18 year old?

It started out as consensual but he became physically abusive due to his drug using issues, and I no longer consented to sexual relations. He knew I said no, yet continued anyway. I was in no shape to win a fight with a grown man. This It happened a year and a few months ago and I have since moved to another state.Can I file charges against the male who did this to me? How can I prove he did this when it was so long ago? Would I receive punishment for consenting as a minor?

Asked on July 3, 2015 under Criminal Law, Louisiana

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If he was 18 and you were 14, then he was an adult and you were a minor.  If you said no, it was rape and you have the right to file charges against him.  Even though the process is difficult, the victim is not prosecuted for consensual activities. 

As far as where to file, the original state and county would have jurisdiction over the charges, but you can start by contacting your local law enforcement and see if they will help you facilitate contacting law enforcement in the other state for purposes of filing charges.

You also bring up the issue of proof.... some valuable evidence has been lost (namely forensic DNA), but the case isn't impossible.  Look through your notes, texts, or facebook pages (or his) and see if there is anything that will help with your assertions.  It's amazing what people post or text thinking that what they say and do will be private forever.  Even if you can't gather anything else, your case will be difficult, but not impossible.  Many a case has still been won by the credible testimony of victim.  The main thing you need to do is get yourself in a good place so that you can testify, if you should ever be called to do so.  These types of sexual assault cases are difficult because abusers tend to be very good at blame shifting and denial.   When this starts, it's extremely emotionally stressful for victims.  Have a support group in place-- and I would recommend that include a counselor who specializes in domestic violence.   


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