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What is statutory rape?

There are many different types of sex crimes in North Carolina. Some may seem very similar, but there are characteristics of each crime that identify them. Furthermore, a small difference in a crime can make a huge difference in the punishment you receive for it. One good example is rape versus statutory rape.

According to North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the distinguishing factor between these two rape charges is the age of the victim. Statutory rape is sexual intercourse of any kind with someone under the age of consent. This varies depending on your age. It also results in different types of statutory rape.

For example, statutory rape of a person who is 15 years of age or younger occurs between someone who is at least 12 years old has intercourse with someone who is six years younger than them. This may come into play if you are a teen who is 18 or 19 and you still have a girlfriend or boyfriend who is underage. If your partner is younger than 15, it constitutes statutory rape.

It is important to note the names of charges may be different if you engage in other sexual activity rather than vaginal intercourse. However, the rules regarding ages still apply. You should note that the age of consent in the state is 16. If your partner is 16 or older, then you do not commit statutory rape when engaging in sexual activity.

Statutory rape does not require the use of force and it may still occur even if both parties consent. The defining factor is the age of you and your partner. This information is for education and is not legal advice.