The multi-phase, descriptive study will collect information about state laws, federal guidance to programs, and grantees and local offices practices. The findings will help HHS to determine if additional guidance is needed. This report is a compilation of state laws and reporting requirements. It provides an overview of state statutory rape laws and reporting requirements, as well as a summary of laws for each state and the District of Columbia.
Statutory rape is a strict liability crime, meaning that the consent of the younger person or mistake about their age is not a defense.
For some sexual crimes, when the victim is under 16 years old, the law doesn't allow the accused to claim that the young person agreed to the sexual activity. This is because the minimum legal age for consenting to a sexual activity is If a person took part in a sexual activity with someone under the age of 16 and a complaint is filed with the police, the law doesn't recognize the young person's consent. For example, if a person is accused of sexual contact with or sexual assault of someone under 16, the person charged with the crime can't use the defence that the young person consented, even if the sexual activity was voluntary.
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