If I am 15 and my girlfriend is 20, can we get married to avoid her getting in trouble for carrying my child?

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If I am 15 and my girlfriend is 20, can we get married to avoid her getting in trouble for carrying my child?

Asked on January 14, 2013 under Criminal Law, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If your girlfriend is already pregnant, getting married now won't undo the criminal offense that has already occurred.  Under the statutory rape laws in North Carolina, marriage is a defense, (See North Carolina Gen. Statute 14-27.7A).  However, the defense cannot be applied retroactively.  Considering this mentality, if you and your parents refuse to press charges, then this may be her best chance of avoiding prosecution and having to register as a sex offender.

Even though it sounds sexist, the good thing in your situation is that statutory rape laws are often applied in situations where an adult male is having sex with a minor child.  This is not a guarantee, but it is a trend in some jurisdictions.


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