Statutory Rape

San Diego Statutory Rape Attorney

Unlawful sexual intercourse, sometimes called “statutory rape” or “unlawful sex with a minor,” occurs when a person engages in sexual intercourse with a person who is under the age of 18. (Penal Code 261.5) Consent is irrelevant in statutory rape cases.

Circumstances that could result in a statutory rape charge include:

  • An 18-year-old male who has sex with his 16-year-old girlfriend
  • A 20-year-old female college student who has sex with a 17-year-old boy just graduated from high school
  • A 30-year-old male who develops a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female co-worker.

If the age difference between the suspect and the minor is three years or less, then the crime is charged as a misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

If the minor is more than three years younger than the suspect or if the suspect is 21 years or older, then the crime can be charged as either a misdemeanor of a felony. As a felony, statutory rape is punishable by up to four years in custody. Statutory rape can also result in civil penalties, which can be thousands of dollars.