Legal Question in Discrimination Law in Maryland

I am 15 years old and my boyfriend of 6 months recently turned 18 is our age difference illegal?

Asked on 6/15/11, 2:18 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Phillip M. Cook Cook Legal Services, LLC

If you are 15 and your boyfriend is 18, and you are having sexual intercourse with him, then your boyfriend can be arrested for misdemeanor statutory rape (see subsection (c) below). IT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU CONSENT TO THE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE. According to the law, you are not old enough to consent (I know that sounds condescending, but the law is the law).

I've cut and paste the law regarding statutory rape below so you can read it for yourself. My hope is that you are practicing abstinence with your boyfriend, otherwise he might find himself in trouble if you, your parents, or anyone else tip off the police about the relationship. Please show this to your boyfriend.

Section 16-6-3 Statutory rape

(a) A person commits the offense of statutory rape when he or she engages in sexual intercourse with any person under the age of 16 years and not his or her spouse, provided that no conviction shall be had for this offense on the unsupported testimony of the victim.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, a person convicted of the offense of statutory rape shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years; provided, however, that if the person so convicted is 21 years of age or older, such person shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 20 years. Any person convicted under this subsection of the offense of statutory rape shall, in addition, be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Section 17-10-6.2.

(c) If the victim is at least 14 but less than 16 years of age and the person convicted of statutory rape is 18 years of age or younger and is no more than four years older than the victim, such person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Best of luck.******The above is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client privilege.*******

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Answered on 6/15/11, 2:35 pm

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