I live in Arizona and I just turned 18. I am in a non-sexual relationship with a girl who is 15 1/2 years old.

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I live in Arizona and I just turned 18. I am in a non-sexual relationship with a girl who is 15 1/2 years old.

I need advice on the interpretations of laws regarding the age of consent, and specifically what is defined as Sexual Contact with a minor in the state of Arizona.

Asked on May 26, 2009 under Criminal Law, Arizona

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In Arizona, it is illegal to engage in sexual conduct with a person under the age of 18.

In Arizona, a genuine and reasonable ignorance of the age of the victim of statutory rape may operate as a defense. The victim must be aged 15, 16, or 17, and the offender must have been actually ignorant of his or her age, and must not have had any reason to know that the victim might be under the age of 18.

If the victim is under the age of 15, ignorance of his or her age will not be a defense.

If the victim is under the age of 18, but older than 15, and the offender is under 19 and no more than 24 months older than the victim, this is a defense to statutory rape.

Since you are 2 1/2 years older, sexual conduct between the two of you would be statutory rape.


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