A 17-year-old girl had sex with a 16-year-old boy who has Down Syndrome, can the girl be charged with rape?

UPDATED: Oct 12, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 12, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

A 17-year-old girl had sex with a 16-year-old boy who has Down Syndrome, can the girl be charged with rape?

The sex was consensual.  Also, if the family doesn’t want to press charges, can the girl still be prosecuted, and under what circumstances?

Asked on October 12, 2011 under Criminal Law, New Jersey


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Potentially a seventeen (17) year old girl who is a minor who had sex with a sixteen (16) year old boy who has down syndrome could be charged with raping him if he did not consent to the act or did not have the mental capacity to understand what was going to happen or did happen.

There are different degrees of down syndrome, some exteme and some not so extreme as to the ability of the person having the condition to understand or not undertstand what is before him or her.

If the boy's family does not want to press charges for the alleged rape, the district attorney's office could still prosecute the claim. Most likely it will not. I suggest that the girl's family consult with a criminal defense attorney before things get out of hand.

Good luck.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption