California law on underage dating applies to sexual conduct with minors. According to California law, an unlawful act of sexual intercourse occurs when an adult.
Table of contents
- What are the exact laws for dating a minor in California?
- Report Abuse
- California Age of Consent & Statutory Rape Laws
- California Law on Underage Dating
The purpose behind most statutory rape laws is to punish grown adults who take sexual advantage of a minor. The following are just a few examples of Romeo and Juliet laws currently in place in the United States:.
What are the exact laws for dating a minor in California?
Exceptions and Other Considerations In addition to Romeo and Juliet laws, some states have specific exemptions when both parties to the sexual act are minors, or the person to be charged is legally married to the minor. However, there are still restrictions in some states about the type of sexual activity that is permissible, such as oral sex and sodomy, as well as restrictions on relationships involving a minor and a person of authority, including teachers, coaches, or tutors. All states have special provisions if any physical force was used or serious physical injury resulted.
Until recently, statutory rape laws applied only to females, ignoring situations involving sex between an adult female and underage male.
Today, most laws are gender neutral, and a number of women in authority positions such as Mary Kay Letourneau, Debra Lafave, Pamela Rogers Turner, and Pamela Smart have been prosecuted for engaging in sexual relationships with younger males. Does the Punishment Fit the Crime? While many states have strict statutory rape laws on the books, prosecutors have been inconsistent in enforcing them, says Mark Chaffin, a researcher with the National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth.
One particularly shocking case drew international attention when year-old Georgia resident, Genarlow Wilson, was charged with aggravated child molestation and sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a year-old girl. Georgia law, which has since been changed to classify this act as a misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of one year in prison, also required Wilson to register as a sex offender when he was released.
Are Statutory Rape Laws Outdated?
Statutory rape laws are based on the premise that although young girls may want to have sex, they may not have enough experience or discernment to make a mature, informed decision. The laws are designed to protect young people who have less information and power than their and-over counterparts.
For example, minors may be less likely than adults to understand sexually transmitted diseases, have access to contraception, and have the resources to raise a child if they become pregnant. Most people believe there is a clear line between young people wanting to date and have sex, and adults molesting or assaulting a child. And most would agree that the difference between intimacy and abuse should be reflected in the laws of each state.
California Age of Consent & Statutory Rape Laws
But not all parties agree on how strict the laws should be. Critics of strict statutory rape laws argue that while sexual relationships between teens relatively close in age may be morally questionable, prosecuting every case would unnecessarily clog up the justice system. But advocates of more diligent enforcement of statutory rape laws believe that the laws help combat the often underreported and hard-to-prove sexual abuse and rape of young girls. Others add that imprisoning men who are convicted of the crime could have a significant impact on teenage pregnancy and birth rates.
Know the Laws in Your State Dating is a normal part of teenage life. But with the privilege of dating comes serious responsibilities.
California Law on Underage Dating
As a parent, you have to set boundaries and rules and take middle school and high school relationships seriously. Violators can also be subject to civil penalties depending on the age of the participants. According to California underage dating law, civil penalties covered by district attorney are used to pay for the cost of prosecution, with the remainder deposited in the underage pregnancy fund, used to help prevent underage pregnancy through appropriations by the California Legislature.
Ability to pay is considered, as probation will not be denied merely for an inability to pay. California's law on underage dating applies to sexual intercourse. Meet Singles in your Area!
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If Not More Than Three Years Younger According to California dating law, any adult who engages in sexual intercourse with a minor not more than three years younger than the perpetrator is guilty of a misdemeanor. If Younger By More Than Three Years Any adult who engages in sex with minors more than three years younger is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony punishable by imprisonment in a county jail or or state prison for not more than one year. If 21 and 16 Any person 21 years or older who has sex with a minor under 16 years of age is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony punishable by time in a county jail not exceeding a year or by imprisonment in a state prison for two to four years.
Civil Penalties Violators can also be subject to civil penalties depending on the age of the participants. Where the Money Goes According to California underage dating law, civil penalties covered by district attorney are used to pay for the cost of prosecution, with the remainder deposited in the underage pregnancy fund, used to help prevent underage pregnancy through appropriations by the California Legislature. View Singles Near You. Ohio Laws on Dating Relationships.