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Most states do not refer specifically to statutory rape; instead they use designations such as sexual assault and sexual abuse to identify prohibited activity.
Regardless of the designation, these crimes are based on the premise that until a person reaches a certain age, he is legally incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse.
For example, California, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, and New York reserve their harshest statutory rape penalty for offenders who are age 21 or older.
(1) If the minor is under age 15, five years in prison; (2) if the offender is at least age 18 or is tried as an adult and the minor was age 12 or younger, life in prison and the offender is ineligible for release until serving 35 years; (3) if the offender is at least 18 or tried as an adult and the victim is age 12, 13, or 14, the presumptive sentence is 20 years; or (4) if the minor is at least age 15, it is punishable by one year in prison Sexual assault to knowingly inflicts sexual intrusion or sexual penetration on a victim (1) under age 15 if the actor is at least four years older or (2) at least 15 years old but less than 17 years old and the actor is at least 10 years older.
Thus, instead of including force as a criminal element, theses crimes make it illegal for anyone to engage in sexual intercourse with anyone below a certain age, other than his spouse.
The age of consent varies by state, with most states, including Connecticut, setting it at age 16.
Sexual battery to sexually penetrate a child (1) at least age 14 but under age 16 if the actor is at least 36 months older than the child or (2) under age 14 if the actor is at least 24 months older than the child.
10 to 25 years in prison with a mandatory minimum of five years if the victim is between age 10 and 16 and 10 years if the victim is under age 10.The combined sentence and special parole must equal at least 10 years(1) Fixed term of 10 years with up to 10 years added or four subtracted for aggravating and mitigating circumstances or (2) if the offender actor is at least age 21, a fixed term of 30 years, with up to 20 years added or 10 subtracted.Felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile is sexual intercourse with consent between (1) someone age 19 or older and someone between age 12 and 17 or (2) someone age 17 or older and someone between age 12 and 15.Third-degree criminal sexual conduct is sexual penetration with (1) a victim under age 13 and an actor no more than 36 months older or (2) a victim age 13 to 16 and an actor more than 24 months older.
The age of consent in other states ranges from ages 14 to 18.Some states base the penalty for violations on the age of the offender, with older offenders receiving harsher penalties.