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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 12 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.

 


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