My son lives in Mississippi. Can my 18 year old son be charged with statutory rape in Mississippi if he was 17 at the time and she was 15 at the time

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My son lives in Mississippi. Can my 18 year old son be charged with statutory rape in Mississippi if he was 17 at the time and she was 15 at the time

The girl was his girlfriend at the time and she is 15 and he was 17. He is now 18 and she is pregnant. Her parents and her are toying with the idea of statutory rape charges. But they want do it if he want have anything to do with the baby. Isn’t that really a form or blackmail in itself.

Asked on May 28, 2009 under Criminal Law, Mississippi

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Pursuant to the Mississippi Criminal Code, Section § 97-3-95,  in order to have have a sexual battery  (the term that MS uses for statutory rape) there would need to be sexual penetration of a child (1) at least age 14 but under age 16 if the actor is at least 36 months older than the child or (2) under age 14 if the actor is at least 24 months older than the child.

Since at the time of the alleged offense the girl was 15 and your son was 17, there appears to be no claim to sexual battery.

If she is now 16 and he is 18 and they have relations, there is no crime; they have both reached the age of consent.

As for not filing charges if he gives up his parental rights, you really need to consult with an attorney in your area on this.  He will advise you as to whether or not this is legal under your specific set of facts and state law.

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I'm not a Mississippi lawyer.  My research suggests that your son could be found guilty of statutory rape.  However, if it is clear that it took place when he was 17, he would not be subject to the minimum penalties (jail time) that would otherwise apply, it would be totally up to the judge.

I would very strongly recommend that your son talk to a criminal lawyer in his area, to review all of the facts, as this is the only way to get reliable advice about what to do here.  One place that you can find qualified attorneys is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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