Is there a closeness in age defense for statutory rape?

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Is there a closeness in age defense for statutory rape?

A 20 year old male, as of tomorrow, is in a consensual sexual relationship with a 16 year old female who will be 17 in 56 months. The female partner’s parents are considering pressing charges against the male partner. Is there a closeness in age clause statutory rape laws, seeing as they are just over 4 years in age difference but not yet 5 years? Neither party holds a position of authority or trust over the other, and neither party has been threatened or coerced in any way.

Asked on July 31, 2012 under Criminal Law, Illinois

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, closeness in age as a legal defense to statutory rape is not recognized as a viable defense.

If an adult (over the age of eighteen) has consensual sex with a person who is under the age of eighteen (a minor) there has been a violation of the statute for the reason that minors are deemed under the law to not be able to make an informed and knowing decision on the subject.


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