When people hear the word rape, they often times think of a violent sexual act. But sometimes, consensual sex can fall under the category of statutory rape, and is extremely serious. It does not matter if the sexual act occurred with your boyfriend or girlfriend. If one of the parties involved is under the age of 18, you can be charged with statutory rape. If you find yourself facing this charge, it is crucial to hire a seasoned San Bernardino sex crimes attorney immediately. Statutory rape is extremely complicated, and shouldn’t be something you face alone.
Statutory Rape falls under California Penal Code 261.5, the following elements must be met by the District Attorney for a conviction:
1. Sexual intercourse occurred between a male and female-penetration must have occurred however slight it was;
2. The parties involved were not married to each other at the time of the act;
3. The alleged victim was under 18 at the time of the act/offense.
The age of the parties is very relevant under this crime and for punishment purposes.
The Prosecution will also have to prove additionally the age difference between the perpetrator and the alleged victim: either they were more than 3 years apart, less than 3 years apart, or the perpetrator was 21 or over and the victim was under 16 years of age at the time.
Statutory Rape can be either filed as a Felony or Misdemeanor depending on the circumstances and age difference of the parties involved. Statutory Rape under Penal Code Section 261.5 will not require you to register as a sex offender.
If you or a loved one has recently been charged with a unlawful sex with a minor, it is important to contact an experienced San Bernardino criminal attorney to represent you against these charges. At Wallin and Klarich, our San Bernardino defense attorneys have successfully represented many clients in this situation. Call us at (877) 466-5245.