Beware claiming ignorance of age as a statutory rape defense
At the federal level, a prosecution for sex trafficking requires that the defendant “knew, or was in reckless disregard of the fact that the minor] was under the age of eighteen,” but what defendant wants to be on pins and needles pursuing such an age defense?
As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know that while in some nations a prosecution will not take place for consensual sex with a non-adult teenage, age of consent laws in the United States should be expected to be strictly enforced. What is the solution against a prosecution for sex with a minor? I answer that below, and add a broader question about how to reduce risk of prosecution for additional sex crimes:
A Virginia sex crime prosecution does not get proven without proving sexual activity
– Plenty of minors look like adults and claim they are adults. Consider that adult film companies ended up learning that Traci Lords was only seventeen years old in numerous films, necessitating the expensive process of yanking her films from the stream of commerce.
– Casual, consensual sex no matter how old the other person may be, risks false claims of rape, for instance when one of the two sex partners feels slighted.
– Sex with an inebriated person risks a prosecution for non-consensual sex, under the theory that a drunk person is unable to consent to sex.
Fairfax criminal lawyer warns adults about engaging in any romantic activity with minors
– It is wisest for an adult not to engage in any romantic activity with a minor, even in states where the age of consent might be under eighteen. Doing otherwise brings temptation, the risk that non-existent unlawful sexual activity will be alleged, losing track if the couple travels to a state where 18 is the age of consent, sexting (which can bring a child pornography prosecution) and a child pornography prosecution for recording sex with a minor.
Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan L. Katz defends people accused of sex crimes, felonies, misdemeanors and DUI, since 1991. To discuss your case with Jon, please call his staff to schedule a confidential consultation, at 703-383-1100.