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Consequently, an adult who engages in sexual activity with a person younger than the age of consent cannot claim that the sexual activity was consensual, and such sexual activity may be considered child sexual abuse or statutory rape.
The person below the minimum age is regarded as the victim and their sex partner is regarded as the offender, unless both are underage.
No Requirement of Force Usually people think of the word "rape" as meaning a forcible sexual encounter.
However, with statutory rape, no force is required to be in violation of the law.
Generally, a law will instead establish the age below which it is illegal to engage in sexual activity with that person.
It has sometimes been used with other meanings, such as the age at which a person becomes competent to consent to marriage, but the meaning given above is the one now generally understood.
Society protects them by making it a criminal offense to have sex with them.
Note that "age of consent" is a different legal concept from "age of majority," which refers to becoming an adult for general purposes, such as being able to enter into contracts.
In some states, such as Georgia, closeness in age is not a complete defense but rather lowers the offense level to a misdemeanor.Basically, the actor argues "I honestly thought she was old enough because...." However, other states don't recognize this defense.Factors Affecting the Punishment The usual punishment for statutory rape is imprisonment, sometimes along with a hefty fine and an order to register as a sex offender.Be sure to speak with an experienced attorney who knows the ropes. The age of consent is the age at which a person is considered to be legally competent to consent to sexual acts.
In most places it is 16 years old, but some set it at 17 or 18.