Missouri laws on dating
The Missouri Age of Consent is 17 years old. Missouri What is the Missouri Age of Consent? In the United States, the age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. Because there is no such "Romeo and Juliet law" in Missouri, it is possible for two individuals both under the age of 17 who willingly engage in intercourse to both be prosecuted for statutory rape , although this is rare. However, it is always a crime to engage in sexual conduct with someone under 14 years old, no matter the defendant's age, and a conviction can result in a sentence of up to life in prison, large fines, or both. When Both Parties are Minors: Mistake of Age In most states, it is not a defense to a charge of statutory rape that the defendant mistakenly believed the child to be of age.
Second degree child molestation involves sexual contact between a defendant of any age and a child under 12 years old or between a child under 17 and a defendant who is more than four years older than the child if the defendant: However, it is a defense to a charge of second degree statutory rape or sodomy or molestation of a child over the age of 14 that the defendant believed the child to be age 17 or older, so long as the belief is reasonable. Adults who engage in sexual activity with children under the age of consent can be prosecuted and convicted of statutory rape , statutory sodomy, or child molestation. For example, a year-old who has sex with a year-old could be convicted of second degree statutory rape. However, if the defendant is 21 years old or older and the victim is under the age of 17, then it is second degree statutory rape or statutory sodomy. Similarly, no protections are reserved for sexual relations in which one participant is a 16 year old and the second is a 17 or 18 year old. For more information on these crimes, see Sexual Battery: Do I Need an Attorney? Legal Help Being convicted of any crime, but especially a sex crime, can have extremely serious consequences. Individuals aged 16 or younger in Missouri are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape. If the child is under 12, the defendant is not eligible for probation or parole. For example, a year-old who texts a child with an invitation to engage in sexual activity can be convicted of child enticement , even if nothing sexual occurs between the defendant and the child. For example, a volunteer assistant coach who engages in sexual activity with a student could be convicted of the crime of sexual contact with a student. Because there is no such "Romeo and Juliet law" in Missouri, it is possible for two individuals both under the age of 17 who willingly engage in intercourse to both be prosecuted for statutory rape , although this is rare. In Missouri, mistake is not a defense to a charge of first degree statutory rape or sodomy or molestation of a child under Teachers and Students In Missouri, it is also a crime to engage in any sexual contact with a public or private school student if the defendant is a school teacher, student teacher, employee, official, volunteer, or contractor. Defenses do exist under certain circumstances when the offender made a mistake identifying the victim's age. Sex Offender Registration People in Missouri who are convicted of any sex crime involving a minor must register as sex offenders. Share on Facebook Seventeen is the age of consent in Missouri. If the defendant used force or compulsion, the offense is a Class B felony. Only an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you successfully navigate the criminal justice system and protect your rights. Mistake of Age In most states, it is not a defense to a charge of statutory rape that the defendant mistakenly believed the child to be of age. Can't find a category? In all statutory rape cases, the determinative fact is whether the victim is underage. This is the age at which a person can consent to have sex with another person who is also that age or older. Any person who engages in sexual intercourse with a year-old could be convicted of first degree statutory rape. Second degree child molestation is a Class B felony, punishable by five to 15 years in prison.
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