Is it legal for a 17 year old to date a 13 year old?

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Is it legal for a 17 year old to date a 13 year old?

I’m a 17 year old guy. I train in Jiu Jitsu and there is this girl that I train with. She is 13. We have trained together for about 2 years and I’m starting to want more than a friendship. I have no intention of sexual intercourse with her or anybody for that matter, as I am only 17 and sex isn’t really a good idea with a future ahead. My question is, before I get involved in this, would it be illegal for me to date her?

Asked on May 21, 2013 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

While it's not technically illegal to "date" (just as it's not illegal to be friends), it's very dangerous: if you should ever have any kind of sex (which is obviously something dating can lead to), it would be considered sexual assault due to her age; and given the age difference, 1) people (including her parents, teachers, and police) may assume you are acting improperly, and 2) if the relationship goes bad and she falsely claims you had sex with her, most people will believe her. This is very dangerous.


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