As stated above, statutory rape is a strict liability crime, so a malicious intent or a “guilty mind” is not necessary.
All that matters is the age of the alleged victim and whether the sexual conduct actually occurred.
Federal law makes it criminal to engage in sexual conduct with another person who is between the age of 12 and 16 if they are at least four years younger than the older actor.
In addition to incarceration, State law requires people convicted of certain sex crimes (including some instances of statutory rape) to register as sex offenders.Mississippi statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age 16 who is not their spouse.A close in age exemption exists when the age gap between the parties is less than 36 months. A close in age exemption, also known as "Romeo and Juliet law", is designed to prevent the prosecution of underage couples who engage in consensual sex when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both are below the age of consent.Regardless, the discussion does not stop at the 16-year-old marker.There are many other issues to consider when discussing the age of consent in Oklahoma.The Defendants may argue that the victims represented themselves as older than they really were, and that a reasonable person would have believed such representation.Even if this is true, Oklahoma does not allow a defendant to rely on a mistake of age, even a reasonable one, to avoid a sex crime conviction for statutory rape.“Age of consent” is the age when a person is considered legally mature enough to agree to sexual intercourse or sexual conduct with another person.In the United States, the federal age of consent is 16.Defendants charged with statutory rape have the usual defenses available to all criminal defendants.However, defendants accused of statutory rape often claim they had no reason to know their partner was underage.Penalties for statutory rape depend on the ages of the defendant and victim, and the conduct that occurred.For example, first degree rape includes consensual sex between a minor who is younger than 14 and a defendant who is 18 years or older.For example, a state may set a minimum age of consent at 14, but limit consent to partners who are within 3 years of their age.