If a 16 year old girl gets pregnant by a 20 year old male, could her parents press charges?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If a 16 year old girl gets pregnant by a 20 year old male, could her parents press charges?

Asked on November 8, 2012 under Criminal Law, Michigan

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country if a sixteen (16) year old minor becomes pregnant by an adult who is twenty (20) years of age the adult clearly can be charged with statutory rape as well as other inapproriate acts with a minor. If convicted, the adult will be required to register as a sex offender.

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Potentially, yes, her parents could file charges-- but  what charges they could press would depend on the events that led up to the pregnancy.

If the sexual events were consensual, then the charge would not be statutory rape because in Michigan the statutory rape laws apply to children under 16 years of age.  If the girl is sixteen now, but was 15 at the time of the sexual act, then the charge could be statutory rape. 

If the sexual events were not consensual, then the parents could press regular rape charges (or criminal sexual conduct charges).

If the acts were consensual, but the girl was sixteen or older-- they may be able to pursue some time of child abuse offense-- this has been used by some prosecutors when the child is not quite young enough to qualify for a statutory rape offense.

The main thing to consider is that the parents and the prosecutor will be calling the shots.  Many 16 year old girls do not want their boyfriends or paramours going to jail, but the law does not require the girl to agree with or consent to the prosecution.  The state can even go forward with the charges over the protest of the parents. 

Any twenty year old male who engages in any type of sexual activity with a girl under 18 years of age should strongly reconsider the relationship.  In addition to state charges, they could also face other federal charges if they use phone lines or the internet to exchange sexually explicit thoughts or pictures.  Once convicted of a sexual offense, most states will require the defendant to register as a sex offender--  which can haunt a defendant's criminal, employment, and rental history/options for several years-- if not a lifetime.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption