Our son will be 19 in August, his girlfriend won’t turn 16 until December

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Our son will be 19 in August, his girlfriend won’t turn 16 until December

We have been against our son’s relationship with his ‘girlfriend’ due to the age
difference. He will be turning 19 in August. She will not turn 16 until December
of the same year. The ‘girlfriend’s’ parents are encouraging and facilitating the
relationship between our son and their daughter. We are worried. Will our son be
criminally implicated if he were to have sexual contact with her, sexting with
her, etc? Please advise. We are very stressed by this situation. Our state is
Pennsylvania and the statues we read are very confusing. Thank you

Asked on May 29, 2017 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The age of consent is the minimum age at which a person is considered legally old enough to consent to sexual activity. The PA age of consent is 16 years of age, so individuals aged 15 or younger are not legally able to consent to sexual activity. If they engage is such activity, even if willingly, it may result in prosecution for statutory rape. A conviction in such a case can result in jail time, fines and registration as a sexual offender. And the fact that the girl will be under age 16 when your son turns 19 can result in stiffer penalties for him.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The age of consent in your state is 16: your son may not legally have sex with her until she is 16. Worse: during the period that he is 19 and she is still 15, it will be particularly severe offense, due  to the age difference: he could be jailed and have to register as a sex offender if they are intimate.


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