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Friday, March 28, 2014

Sex Crimes -- mixing minors and mayhem

Hanover Law answers questions on a variety of topics, and one recent inquiry stood out in our criminal discussions. In VA, what is statutory rape and what are other possible charges for sex with minors? Seems like a bizarre and slightly embarrassing question. However, if you have a teenager or young adult who is experimenting with sex, it is good to know what the risks might be.

Question:
I am 20 years old and have a child with an 18 year old. When we had sex, I was 19 and he was 17.

His parents are pissed, but knew of our relationship. It actually started when he was 16 and a half and I was a little over 18. The night we conceived he took me to a party where we both got drunk. He drove me home, and the rest is history. What will happen to me?

Statutory Rape? Not a chance.


The father of your child must pay child support, so you can certainly "get" that. This is not a case of statutory rape, as that requires the "victim" to be under the age of 15. It the victim is 15, 16, or 17, and the actor is 18 or over, the charge is "Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor" as defined in VA Code 18.2-371. That's a first class misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of 12 months and/or $2500 in fines.

Any person 18 years of age or older, including the parent of any child, who (i) willfully contributes to, encourages, or causes any act, omission, or condition which renders a child delinquent, in need of services, in need of supervision, or abused or neglected as defined in § 16.1-228, or (ii) engages in consensual sexual intercourse with a child 15 or older not his spouse, child, or grandchild, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

In your case, it is not likely there will be any prosecution, as a matter of public policy, when the parties are within tow to three years of each other, the court tends to not want to get involved (would result in waaayyyy too many teenage against teenage sex claims).

You also mention alcohol being a factor, and driving under the influence. Both of these are separate charges, and could be a problem. However, neither lead to a sex charge, as neither of you were legally of age to consume or possess alcohol, so you were not providing alcohol to a minor.

The fact his parents knew of your relationship is irrelevant. It was YOUR choice to engage in the conduct, and the state would be pursuing you for that decision. Parents are not truly relevant at this level, although they may influence the nature of the punishment at sentencing. I don't see this being a factor here.

It would be wise, however, to meet with us (or another law firm) in consultation on this matter. While it may cost a few hundred to do that, we can review the entire scope of your case, and any other information you may not have shared on the public forum. We have extensive experience with sex crimes, and we would be glad to help. 703-402-2723


Sean Hanover, Esq.
Hanover Law
www.hanoverlawpc.com
Offices in Fairfax and DC
888 16th St. NW
Washington, DC 20006

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