How to Get Out of Statutory Rape Charges
What Is Statutory Rape?
In California, statutory rape is defined as unlawful sex with a minor under the age of 18, even if the sex is consensual. Minors are assumed to be incapable of giving informed consent to sex. Statuory rape can be classified as the four following types:
- Oral sex between a minor who is less than 18 and a defendant of any age
- Sexual intercourse or penetration between a minor who is less than 18 and a defendant of any age
- Sexual penetration between a minor who is less than 15 and a defendant who is at least 10 years older than the minor
- Lewd and lascivious acts upon a child involving sexual contact between a minor who is less than 14 and a defendant of any age, or between a minor who is 14 or 15 and a defendant who is at least 10 years older than the minor.
Defenses to Statutory Rape
In California, statutory rape is a “wobbler” offense. This means the circumstances determine whether it is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Generally, the seriousness of the charges and punishments correlate to the circumstances surrounding the crime, how young the alleged victim is, and your prior criminal history. If you have been accused of statutory rape, contact an experienced defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich today to see how we can help you clear your name. Below, we’ve outlined a few of the effective defenses to statutory rape.
You cannot be convicted of statutory rape if you were legally married to the alleged victim at the time of sexual intercourse. In California, minors can marry an adult with judicial or parental consent and engage in sexual intercourse thereafter. Thus, if you were married to the alleged victim at the time of intercourse, your attorney can present documentation of your legal marriage as a defense to statutory rape.
2. Mistake of Age
Mistake of age may be another defense to statutory rape if you held good faith belief that the alleged victim was not a minor. This means that if you honestly and reasonably believed the alleged victim was at least 18 years old at the time of sexual intercourse, you cannot be convicted of statutory rape. The mistake of age defense may apply in several situations, such as the following:
- The minor lied or made a misleading statement about their age.
- The minor appeared to be at least 18 years old.
- You met the minor at a location exclusively for adults.
3. No Sexual Intercourse
Your attorney may assert on your behalf that no sexual intercourse occurred. If you did not engage in sexual intercourse with a minor, there is no crime of statutory rape. For purposes of this crime, acts like kissing, touching, or even oral sex are not enough to convict you. Penetration must have occurred for you to be found guilty, which can be hard to prove. In some cases, false accusations of statutory rape are initiated for reasons such as anger, jealousy, or revenge. However, a skilled defense attorney can look for exculpating evidence such as text messages or witnesses to prove that no intercourse occurred.
4. No Minor Involved
Your attorney may also provide evidence that the alleged victim was not a minor. Age is a crucial element of this crime. If the alleged victim was at least 18 at the time of intercourse, you cannot be convicted of statutory rape. By conducting a thorough investigation, your attorney can determine the true age of the alleged victim at the time of intercourse and present this defense on your behalf.
Contact Wallin & Klarich Today
If you have been accused of statutory rape, you may feel frustrated or confused. However, not all hope is lost. Contact our skilled defense attorneys today to see if we can present these defenses on your behalf. With 40+ years of experience, Wallin & Klarich has helped thousands of clients clear their name and move forward with their lives after a sex crimes allegation. We understand how tough these cases can be, but our attorneys know the most effective strategies to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Torrance, West Covina, Los Angeles, and San Diego, you are sure to find a Wallin & Klarich lawyer available to help you in a convenient location.
Discover how our team can assist you. Contact us today, toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a skilled defense attorney.