What is Statutory Rape Law and Punishments in Alabama?
It is illegal for any adult in Alabama to engage in sex with a minor. The term adult refers to a person 18 years or older and minor younger than 16. Any person who violates this law has committed statutory rape.
Laws relating to statutory rape are crafted on the premise that minors are not capable when it comes to giving informed consent in case of sexual activities. This incapacity is included in the statute and this is the reason for the said term “statutory” rape. This age of consent could be different in different states.
Even though statutory rape has no need for the prosecutor to prove any assault, the action continues to be rape. It is evident that rape which involves any assault or force is illegal in the Alabama state and will be prosecuted as per forcible rape. Any assault of sexual nature could also be charged as per the assault and battery laws of the state and the child enticement laws. The child abuse laws are also applicable in such conditions.
Statutory rape laws in Alabama and punishments
Statutory rape can be prosecuted as per Alabama state's laws dealing with criminal sexual contact and penetration. The penalties depend on both the victim's and the defendant's ages, along with the conduct which happened in the following text.
First-degree rape is said to have happened when sexual intercourse (even slight penetration) with minor less than 12 years in age, and of the opposite sex of defendant and the defendant's minimum age is 16 years. Such an offense is Class A felony.
Second-degree rape is said to have happened when sexual intercourse happens with a minor who can be 12 years old, 13 years old, 14 years old, or 15 years old and of the opposite sex of defendant. The defendant must be a minimum of 16 years of age and must be a minimum of two years older than the said victim. Such an offense is a Class B felony.
Sexual abuse of child aged below 12 years of age includes touching of a sexual nature between any minor aged below 12 years and a defendant who is a minimum 16 years of age. Such an offense is a Class B felony.
Second-degree sexual abuse includes touching of a sexual nature with any minor who can be 12 years old, 13 years old, 14 years old, or 15 years old and the defendant must be minimum of 19 years of age. Such an offense is Class A misdemeanor.
The list of penalties or punishments includes fine or prison time or both. If the victim is younger, then there are chances of more prison terms and serious fines. These are usually reserved for crimes which involve intercourse with any younger victim.
Sodomy laws in Alabama
Laws against sodomy in Alabama are organized in a similar way to the state's laws against rape. In general terms, the older the defendant, and the younger the victim, the more severe the punishment. To give an example, a man who engaged in sexual intercourse with a male child could be convicted on sodomy charges.
As per Alabama state law, other than the applicable prison time and fines, individuals convicted of a few instances of any statutory rape must be registered as sex offenders. Any defendant who is charged with any statutory rape have the standard defenses which are available to all criminal defendants, like naming some other person as a criminal or the non-occurrence of the incident. However, as per the Alabama laws, a few other defenses could be applied to the statutory rape charges.