Is it legal for a 15 year old male and 12 year old female to have sex?

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Is it legal for a 15 year old male and 12 year old female to have sex?

Asked on August 2, 2011 New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It appears that in New York State, this would in fact be a crime--the crime of sexual abuse in the third degree. New York says that someone under the age of 17 can't give consent to sex, so it's "automatically" a sex crime to have sex with someone less than 17 years old. There are exceptions, when the sex partner is young, too, which is why all  high school students are not in jail for sex offenses. The problem for you is that the exception for the crime of sexual abuse in the third degree requires that your sex partner be "more than 14 years old," which the girl in your question is not.  So even though you are yourself a minor and you are only 3 years older than her, she is so young that it appears that you would in fact be committing a crime.


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