Is it legal for someone who is 20 to have sexual relations with someone who is 17?

UPDATED: Jul 13, 2010

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Is it legal for someone who is 20 to have sexual relations with someone who is 17?

The age of consent is in PA is 16, and she is 17. The other party involved is 20 years old. Does the age of consent apply here or only to those that are both in the age of 16 up until 18?

Asked on July 13, 2010 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

As I read the Pennsylvania statute on this question, it does not look to me as if there is anything illegal about fully consensual sexual relations between a 20-year-old and a 17-year-old.  Any sexual contact with someone under the age of 13 is illegal; for someone less than 16 years old, anyone more than four (4) years older would be committing the crime of "Statutory sexual assault" under Title 18 PCS section 3122.1.

Like most states, the Pennsylvania law has a number of provisions relating to "deviant" sexual contact as well, although the present version of the statute appears to make these illegal only where one participant is under age (following the exact same standards as for sex in general) or does not consent.

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