People who engage in sexual activity with children under the age of 16 the age of consent under Maryland law can be convicted of statutory rape or similar crimes. Maryland also has laws prohibiting sexual relations between teachers or other school employees and students under the age of In statutory rape cases, the determinative fact is whether the child is underage. It does not matter if the child consents to or initiates the sexual activity. People who engage in sexual acts against others without their consent can, of course, be prosecuted and convicted of other crimes, such as sexual assault , assault, or battery. Maryland has several different laws that criminalize engaging in sexual behavior with a child.
18 year old dating 16 year old maryland
As long as the age difference between the couple is within three years of each other and the minor is over the age of 14, a sexual relationship will not be considered statutory rape.
In Maryland, there are a variety of laws prohibiting sexual activity or contact with minors under a certain age. It does not matter if the child consents to or initiates the sexual activity.What Is The Legal Age Of Consent In The State Of Maryland?
The severity of the criminal charge depends on the specifics of the acts committed and the ages of the perpetrator and victim. For example, statutory rape -- rape in the second degree -- is a felony and punishable by up to 20 years of imprisonment.
A second conviction for a crime involving sex with underage children can lead to a lifetime prison sentence. Engaging in sexual acts against others without their consent can also lead to charges of sexual assault, assault, or battery.
Civil laws can be a factor. A law that recently went into effect extends the time limit for filing a civil suit over being sexually abused as a child to 20 years after the victim becomes an adult or four years after the abuser is criminally convicted unless there is the position of "trust".
The current limit is seven years after reaching adulthood. The law went into effect on Oct. In Maryland, people who are convicted of statutory rape and related crimes are required to register as sex offenders for at least 15 years. Registered offenders must provide personal information to local law enforcement agents every few months. Although Maryland does not impose residency restrictions for sex offenders, sex offender registration can make it difficult, or even impossible, to find a job.
In Maryland, as in most states, the fact that the defendant mistakenly believed the child to be of age is not a defense to statutory rape or a similar crime. The general rule is that the age at which a young person can legally consent to engage in vaginal intercourse, sexual contact, or a sexual act with another person is 16 years.
There is an exception to this rule if the older participant usually the man is less than four years older than the girl. In other words, it may or may not be illegal for an 19 year old to have sex with a 15 year old or a 18 year old to have sex with a 14 year old depending upon when the participants birthdays occur. This subject is covered in greater detail in another blog. The unusual part of the statute, as compared to most criminal statutes, is that it creates a strict liability standard.
The law states that if an adult 4 years or more older than the child under 16, engages in sexual conduct with that child, he is guilty — period.
Is it legal in the state of Maryland, a 16 year old dating a 18 year old?
There is no knowledge or intent requirement under this statute hence the standard — strict liability. This strict liability standard can be terribly unfair to the defendant in certain circumstances including a recent client of mine. My client, who was just 19 years old at the time of the offense, rented several connecting hotel rooms one evening to throw a party. My client advised me that he was acutely aware of the danger of having sex with underage girls because a friend of his had recently gone to prison for doing so.
On this night he met a girl who he ended up hanging out with for several hours during the party. My client and the girl had both consumed alcohol but neither were drunk and the State did allege that she was incapacitated when the sexual conduct occurred.
The girl had advised my client that she was 18 from when he first met her and by her appearance, she could easily pass for that age. Later that evening my client and the girl went into one of the unoccupied rooms.