Is it legal for a 14 year old to have a sexual relationship with someone the age of 17?

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Is it legal for a 14 year old to have a sexual relationship with someone the age of 17?

If it is in a mutual relationship and the 14 year old consents to being in the relationship and the activities; there is no person of power/authority.

Asked on January 13, 2013 under Criminal Law, Minnesota

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Even though mutual, it is technically illegal for a 14 year old to have a sexual relationship with someone who is 17 years old.  The 17 year is within the age range to be certified or treated as an adult.  The 14 year old is under age pursuant to Minn. Statute 609.344.  Here is a link to that law on your state's website: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=609.344   . Subsection (b) is the part of this law that would apply to this situation.  Minn. Statute 609.055 contains the provisions for having a 17 year old deemed an adult for criminal prosecution and can be found through the same link.  It is a possible offense because there are more than 24 months of age difference between the two persons involved.

Even though it is technically illegal, there is also a chance that a case would not be prosecuted considering that the events basically constitute consensual teen sex.  Just know, however, that if a parent or prosecutor decided to push the issue, that there is a risk of a viable charge.


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