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Statutory Rape Laws

In Minnesota, statutory rape occurs when a legal adult has sexual intercourse with a person under the legal age of consent (16-years-old). For example, if a 21-year-old has sex with someone under the age of 16, they are guilty of statutory rape.

Statutory Rape Penalties in Minnesota

Under certain circumstances, the penalties for statutory rape can be less severe, such as when a person is under the age of consent (16), and they have sex with a person close to their age. In Minnesota, this “age differential” is three years if the victim is under the age of 13, and four years if the victim is between the ages of 13 and 16. For example, if a 20-year-old has sex with a 15-year-old it is illegal because the minor is more than four years younger than the offender.

These age differential laws also apply if both parties involved are underage, like teenagers who wish to become sexually intimate with each other but are not of legal age. Many states call these the “Romeo and Juliet” laws. They exist to lessen the penalties for teenagers who participate in consensual sex. If the two parties involved are under the age of consent, or one is just over, the punishment will be less and the offender will not be required to register as a sex offender, even though the act is technically defined as statutory rape.

All of these conditions depend on parental consent. Any adult who wishes to engage in sexual contact with a minor must have the permission of the minor’s parents, or the act is illegal.

Minnesota Rape Lawyers

According to Minnesota statutes, consent by the minor and/or not knowing the exact age of the minor are not legitimate defenses in statutory rape cases. However, there are many potential options for defense. If you have been charged with a statutory rape offense, speaking with an experienced Minnesota rape lawyer  is the best decision you can make.

Minnesota statutory rape is usually classified as a first degree criminal sexual conduct charge. This is a very serious charge that brings heavy penalties.