Understanding the statutory rape laws where you live is very important. Many Americans are not aware that the statutory rape laws can and do change depending on what state you are in. Most people are aware that the age of majority is 18, but this is not necessarily the age of consent.
North Carolina is one of the states where the age of consent is lower than 18. According to Age of Consent, in order to legally consent to sexual activity in the state of North Carolina an individual must be at least 16 years old.
Is there an age exemption law?
North Carolina does have laws that protect individuals who are close in age. These exemption laws are sometimes called “Romeo and Juliet” laws, as they exist to protect underage couples of similar age engaging in consensual sex. In some cases, one party may be over the age of consent and one may not be.
In North Carolina, how these laws apply depends on the situation. In certain circumstances, North Carolina’s laws make completely exempt qualifying close in age couples, and in others it may only offer a legal defense against the charges.
Are there any other exceptions?
Specifically, no employee of a K-12 system may engage in any kind of sexual activity with a student unless the employee has married the student. This applies regardless of the student’s age, even if the student is over the age of 18.
The only exception to the above is if the employee is not an administrator, student teacher, teacher, safety officer or a sport coach.