Legal Question in Criminal Law in Tennessee

Can a girl file statutory rape if she turns 18 before she files? I have a friend who is 23 and was dating a 17 year old. He broke up with her and she has went completely nuts and now is saying she is going to get him arrested even though they did NOT have sex. he even has prove that she says that they did not have sex. She turns 18 next month (September) also, she lives in Florida, and he lives in Tennessee.

Asked on 8/24/13, 6:45 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Short answer:

A crime is complete when all elements of the offense have been achieved. So, in the broad sense, yes, a man (I'll adopt your gender assignments) can be charged with the crime of statutory rape many years after the formerly underage girl reaches the age of consent.

Longer answer:

"She" doesn't file charges, a prosecuting attorney or a detective/police officer files the charges by swearing out a warant or seeking an indictment from a grand jury. There is a screening mechanism in place, the efficiency of which is suject to much dispute, even among professionals.

And I have many clients who say "he/she said one thing one time and is now saying something else." Ultimately, it is up to the jury to decide what the facts are. Contrary statements go to the weight of the evidence and the credibility of the witness, they do not lead to an automatic "not guilty."

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Answered on 8/25/13, 7:25 pm

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