Age sex crimes in Minnesota include an age element. And as a result, the age of consent matters. So these crimes depend upon the age of the people involved in a prohibited sexual act. Often, age alone is what makes the act prohibited. And the most common consensual sex crime is statutory rape.
A crime by technicality, statutory rape is consensual sex. But either one party is too young; or the age difference is too great. It’s not “real rape” or common law rape, which requires coercion or lack of consent.
What is Statutory rape?
Statutory rape refers to sex crime prosecutions against a person in a consensual sexual relationship. The crime requires that one of the pair is too young. The law would strip away the younger person’s right to consent. And the law would criminalize sexual activity by a person under a certain age.
What is the Age of Consent?
As you’d expect, the age of consent matters when it comes to Minnesota age sex crimes.
What age? Laws relating to the age of consent vary from one state or jurisdiction to another.
In Minnesota Criminal Sexual Conduct Statutes, the most important age is 16.
So, most age-based sex crimes apply to persons under the age of 16. But some apply to persons under the age of 18.
Minnesota’s statutes on the minimum age for a legally recognizable marriage set that age at 18; or 16 years, with the consent of the person’s parents, guardian, or the court. Minnesota Statutes Section 517.02.
But throughout human history, the age of consent and marriage has generally been the age of adolescence.
Even today, the age of consent varies in the states of the United States. And it varies in the nations of North and South America.
If a lover is below the age of consent, you risk an age sex crimes charge.
Juvenile sex crime
Prosecutors charge juveniles with sex crimes, too. And often the only fact that makes the lover a criminal is age.
So, should young love be a crime? Should we ruin the lives of the young, for this?
When juveniles face sex crime charges, a big concern is getting a criminal record. Felony juvenile delinquency charges for those 16 and older are public. And almost all criminal sexual conduct charges are felonies. But schools, police and others, can access “nonpublic” juvenile court records.
And no matter how young, anyone adjudicated guilty of a Minnesota felony juvenile sex crime must register as a predatory offender; for at least ten years. This includes kids facing charges as young as ten years old.
With so much at stake, every child deserves representation by a good sex crimes defense attorney.
Romeo and Juliet laws
In Shakespeare’s masterpiece Romeo and Juliet, Juliet was not yet fourteen.
Romeo’s age was unstated, but scholars generally view him to have been a young adult.
Minnesota’s sex crime laws criminalizing age make an exception for lovers who are, though young, close enough in age. This reflects a cultural view that age should not be a crime for lovers close in age; but should be for one who is “too old.”
For more on this, check out our article: Romeo and Juliet Law: Minnesota Sex Crimes Based On Age.
Minnesota Sex Crimes Attorney Thomas Gallagher
Age sex crimes have serious consequences. You should have the best defense attorney possible, with experience defending Criminal Sexual Conduct charges.
Defense goals include:
- Avoiding a criminal conviction record
- Preventing predatory offender registration
- Stopping long presumptive prison sentences
We have many ways to defend clients from these age sex crimes charges. But make no mistake. These are tough cases.
So you need a serious sex crimes defense attorney. For serious help, call Defense Attorney Thomas Gallagher.
Question about Minnesota Age Sex Crimes? Call Minneapolis Sex Crimes Attorney Thomas Gallagher at (612) 333-1500