My son is 17 and his girlfriend is 15. She’s pregnant. Can he be arrested for statutory rape? Is she automatically emancipated when she has the bab

UPDATED: Jun 18, 2009

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My son is 17 and his girlfriend is 15. She’s pregnant. Can he be arrested for statutory rape? Is she automatically emancipated when she has the bab

They are still together and want to raise the baby together. Her mother is now starting to tell him what he can and can’t do. We want to find out what his rights are before we pursue anything.

Asked on June 18, 2009 under Family Law, Mississippi


L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

There is no statutory rape law in your state, per se, but the law is called sexual battery.  If a child under age 16, but over age 14 is sexually penetrated by someone who is at least 36 months older than she is, or, if she was under 14 at the time and he was at least 24 months older, then he can be charged with sexual battery.  Neither the victim's consent nor the victim's lack of chastity is a defense to the charge.

Emancipation is a legal process by which minors can attain legal adulthood before reaching the age at which they would normally be considered adults (this is called the “age of majority”). The rights granted to legally emancipated minors might include the ability to sign legally binding contracts, own property, and keep one’s own earnings. However, each state has different laws governing emancipation and some states simply have no law or legal process concerning emancipation. In states where minors wishing to become legally emancipated will have to break new legal ground.  There is no emancipation status in Mississippi, I'm afraid.


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 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.

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