Statutory Rape Facts

“Statutory rape” is a generic term referring to sexual relations between a person who is at or over the legal age of consent and a person who is legally a minor. Not every jurisdiction uses this exact term; some places label this behavior as “corruption of a minor,” “sexual assault of a minor” or other terms. In Wisconsin, committing any kind of sexual act with someone under the age of consent is considered sexual assault, a class C felony.

The “age of consent” refers to the age at which people are considered mature enough to make major choices about their lives, such as consenting to sex. Every state is allowed to set its own age of consent, which makes these laws all the more confusing. In most states, the age of consent is somewhere between sixteen and eighteen. In Wisconsin, people can legally consent to sex at the age of sixteen.

In some states, the age of the alleged statutory rapist can be a mitigating factor. Commonly called “Romeo and Juliet laws,” they make it legal for an adult to have sex with a consenting minor who is within one or two years of their age. Wisconsin is not one of these jurisdictions. However, the age of the minor can be an aggravating factor, meaning that sexual contact with a minor can have more serious consequences depending on the minor’s age. Having sexual contact with a person who is under the age of thirteen is considered much more serious than doing so with a minor between the ages of thirteen and fifteen. Consensual sexual contact with a sixteen year old is considered the least severe form of statutory rape, although the consequences can still be very serious.

If you have been accused of statutory rape, you need to contact a knowledgeable and committed attorney right away. Contact Wisconsin statutory rape defense lawyers Kohler Hart Powell, SC at (414) 271-9595.