i’m 21 my girfriend was 17 and married can i be charged as an adult for child abuse or is she an adult also

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i’m 21 my girfriend was 17 and married can i be charged as an adult for child abuse or is she an adult also

Asked on April 23, 2009 under Criminal Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Let's start from the beginning. Your 17 year old girlfriend had an affair with you while she was/is married. 

765.02      
765.02 Marriageable age; who may contract.  


765.02(1)      
(1) Every person who has attained the age of 18 years may marry if otherwise competent.


765.02(2)      
(2) If a person is between the age of 16 and 18 years, a marriage license may be issued with the written consent of the person's parents, guardian, custodian under s. 767.225 (1) or 767.41, or parent having the actual care, custody and control of the person. The written consent must be given before the county clerk under oath, or certified in writing and verified by affidavit or affirmation before a notary public or other official authorized to take affidavits. The written consent shall be filed with the county clerk at the time of application for a marriage license. If there is no guardian, parent or custodian or if the custodian is an agency or department, the written consent may be given, after notice to any agency or department appointed as custodian and hearing proper cause shown, by the court having probate jurisdiction.
 

765.02 - ANNOT.      
   History:  1971 c. 149; 1971 c. 213 s. 5; 1975 c. 39, 94, 200; 1979 c. 32 ss. 48, 92 (4); Stats. 1979 s. 765.02; 1981 c. 20 s. 2200; 1999 a. 85; 2005 a. 443 s. 265.
 

765.02 - ANNOT.      
   NOTE: See also Art. XIII, sec. 13, Marriage.
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944.16      
944.16 Adultery. Whoever does either of the following is guilty of a Class I felony:

944.16(1)      
(1) A married person who has sexual intercourse with a person not the married person's spouse; or

944.16(2)      
(2) A person who has sexual intercourse with a person who is married to another.
 

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948.01      
948.01 Definitions. In this chapter, the following words and phrases have the designated meanings unless the context of a specific section manifestly requires a different construction:

948.01(1)      
(1) "Child" means a person who has not attained the age of 18 years, except that for purposes of prosecuting a person who is alleged to have violated a state or federal criminal law, "child" does not include a person who has attained the age of 17 years.

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948.02      
948.02 Sexual assault of a child.  

948.02(1)      
(1) First degree sexual assault.  

948.02(1)(am)      
(am) Whoever has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a person who has not attained the age of 13 years and causes great bodily harm to the person is guilty of a Class A felony.

948.02(1)(b)      
(b) Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who has not attained the age of 12 years is guilty of a Class B felony.

948.02(1)(c)      
(c) Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who has not attained the age of 16 years by use or threat of force or violence is guilty of a Class B felony.

948.02(1)(d)      
(d) Whoever has sexual contact with a person who has not attained the age of 16 years by use or threat of force or violence is guilty of a Class B felony if the actor is at least 18 years of age when the sexual contact occurs.

948.02(1)(e)      
(e) Whoever has sexual contact with a person who has not attained the age of 13 years is guilty of a Class B felony.

948.02(2)      
(2) Second degree sexual assault. Whoever has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a person who has not attained the age of 16 years is guilty of a Class C felony.

948.02(3)      
(3) Failure to act. A person responsible for the welfare of a child who has not attained the age of 16 years is guilty of a Class F felony if that person has knowledge that another person intends to have, is having or has had sexual intercourse or sexual contact with the child, is physically and emotionally capable of taking action which will prevent the intercourse or contact from taking place or being repeated, fails to take that action and the failure to act exposes the child to an unreasonable risk that intercourse or contact may occur between the child and the other person or facilitates the intercourse or contact that does occur between the child and the other person.

948.02(4)      
(4) Marriage not a bar to prosecution. A defendant shall not be presumed to be incapable of violating this section because of marriage to the complainant.

948.02(5)      
(5) Death of victim. This section applies whether a victim is dead or alive at the time of the sexual contact or sexual intercourse.
 

948.02 - ANNOT.      
   History:  1987 a. 332; 1989 a. 31; 1995 a. 14, 69; 2001 a. 109; 2005 a. 430, 437; 2007 a. 80.
 

948.02 - ANNOT.      
   Relevant evidence in child sexual assault cases is discussed. In Interest of Michael R.B. 175 Wis. 2d 713, 499 N.W.2d 641 (1993).
 

948.02 - ANNOT.      
   Limits relating to expert testimony regarding child sex abuse victims is discussed. State v. Hernandez, 192 Wis. 2d 251, 531 N.W.2d 348 (Ct. App. 1995).
 

948.02 - ANNOT.      
   The criminalization, under sub. (2), of consensual sexual relations with a child does not violate the defendant's constitutionally protected privacy rights. State v. Fisher, 211 Wis. 2d 665, 565 N.W.2d 565 (Ct. App. 1997), 96-1764.
 

948.02 - ANNOT.      
   Second degree sexual assault under sub. (2) is a lesser included offense of first degree sexual assault under sub. (1). State v. Moua, 215 Wis. 2d 510, 573 N.W.2d 210 (Ct. App. 1997).
 

948.02 - ANNOT.      
   For a guilty plea to a sexual assault charge to be knowingly made, a defendant need not be informed of the potential of being required to register as a convicted sex offender under s. 301.45 or that failure to register could result in imprisonment, as the commitment is a collateral, not direct, consequence of the plea. State v. Bollig, 2000 WI 6, 232 Wis. 2d 561, 605 N.W.2d 199, 98-2196.
 

948.02 - ANNOT.      
   Expert evidence of sexual immaturity is relevant to a preadolescent's affirmative defense that he or she is not capable of having sexual contact with the purpose of becoming sexually aroused or gratified. State v. Stephen T. 2002 WI App 3, 250 Wis. 2d 26, 643 N.W.2d 151, 00-3045.
 

948.02 - ANNOT.      
   That the intended victim was actually an adult was not a bar to bringing the charge of attempted 2nd degree sexual assault of a child. The fictitiousness of the victim is an extraneous factor beyond the defendant's control within the meaning of the attempt statute. State v. Grimm, 2002 WI App 242, 258 Wis. 2d 166, 653 N.W.2d 284, 01-0138.
 

948.02 - ANNOT.      
   Section 939.22 (19) includes female and male breasts as each is "the breast of a human being." The touching of a boy's breast constitutes "sexual contact" under sub. (2). State v. Forster, 2003 WI App 29, 260 Wis. 2d 149, 659 N.W.2d 144, 02-0602.
 

948.02 - ANNOT.      
   Sub. (2), in conjunction with ss. 939.23 and 939.43 (2), precludes a defense predicated on a child's intentional age misrepresentation. The statutes do not violate an accused's rights under the 14th amendment to the U. S. Constitution. State v. Jadowski 2004 WI 68, 272 Wis. 2d 418, 680 N.W.2d 418, 03-1493.
 

948.02 - ANNOT.      
   The consent of the child in a sub. (2) violation is not relevant. Yet if the defendant asserts that she did not consent to the intercourse and that she was raped by the child, the issue of her consent becomes paramount. If the defendant was raped, the act of having sexual intercourse with a child does not constitute a crime. State v. Lackershire, 2007 WI 74, 301 Wis. 2d 418, 734 N.W.2d 23, 05-1189.
 

948.02 - ANNOT.      
   The constitutionality of this statute is upheld. Sweeney v. Smith, 9 F. Supp. 2d 1026 (1998).
 

948.02 - ANNOT.      
   Statutory Rape in Wisconsin: History, Rationale, and the Need for Reform. Olszewski. 89 MLR 693 (2005).
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948.09      
948.09 Sexual intercourse with a child age 16 or older. Whoever has sexual intercourse with a child who is not the defendant's spouse and who has attained the age of 16 years is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
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