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What is Statutory Rape and Punishment in Hawaii?

What is Statutory Rape?

When there is an act of sexual intercourse without the consent of any of the parties, then it is deemed as rape. This is a criminal act and a felony and invites stringent punishment under the law. When the parties have consented to the act, it is not rape. But there is an exception. If any of the parties is under the age of consent, then the act is considered as statutory rape. The age of consent is the age defined under the law, which indicates the minimum age for having sex.

The age of consent is fixed based on the laws of the particular state. Fixing the age of consent ensures that children are not forced to having sex without understanding its implications. Anyone under the age of consent is presumed to be not mature enough to understand and be able to give consent to an act of sex. Hence, sex with a person below the age of consent, even if consent is obtained, is considered as statutory rape.

Hawaii Statutory Rape Law

Statutory rape in Hawaii

In the state of Hawaii, since the age of consent has been fixed as 16 years. So, this means sexual intercourse with anyone below the age of 16 years is considered as statutory rape. Even if the act were consensual, it would still be considered as statutory rape under the law. Statutory rape has been defined in The Hawaii Penal Code Chapter 707 – 732. It is referred to as sexual assault of the third degree.

As per this law, though the age consent is 16 years, there is what is referred to as a close in exception in the law. As per this, it is illegal to have sex with a person who is younger than 14 years under any circumstance. However, it is legal to have sex with someone between 14 to 16 years of age, provided the difference in age between the two parties is not more than 5 years.

Interpretation and explanation

The law of statutory rape is included in the law books to protect the rights of children. As per the Hawaiian statutes, anyone under the age of 14 is not ready for sex and even if consent is given, it is probably given without understanding its meaning. Therefore, the law has made sex with anyone below 14 years as illegal. Anyone having sex with someone less than 14 years is guilty of a first-degree sexual assault. The punishment for this is imprisonment for a maximum of 20 years.

Statutory Rape Law Hawaii

However, there is an exception which permits young people between 14 and 16 to have sex. Keeping in mind, the natural urge to love and have sex with mutual consent, it is possible that those between 14 and 16 have sex, and thus the law decriminalizes such an act.

However, there is a rider here which has been put to protect the rights of young people. This says that the age difference should not be more than 5 years. This means a 14-year-old can have sex with someone less than 19 years of age, but not with anyone who is 19 or above. An exception is given for spouses, which means if the two persons are married, then it is not considered as statutory rape.

The reason for this is that an older person may physically and mentally coerce a younger one to provide consent for sex. To prevent this from happening and to protect the rights of the younger person, this provision has been included. Since young people do have sex, and it is prevalent everywhere, the law in Hawaii decriminalizes this with the proviso of the 5-year difference.

Hawaii Rape Laws

Hawaii Sex Offender Search

The Hawaii Statutory Rape Laws and other sex laws define who has to be registered as a sex offender in the state. when a person is a registered sex offender, the information about their identity and violations becomes available to the public. So, if you want to find out who is a registered Hawaii sex offender and how has violated Hawaii statutory rape laws, you can look up the information in public records.

These days, there are online public records search directories, like GoLookUp, that you can use to find Hawaii registered sex offenders. With GoLookUp, you can use the site's criminal records directory to find sex offender registries of individuals; to use the directory, you need to type in the name of a person. Then, GoLookUp will begin to scan public records of the said person. At the end of the query, you will get a report that will let you know of the person's criminal history, including whether he/she is a registered sex offender.

You can also use GoLookUp's sex offender search directory to find out who are all the registered sex offenders in a particular area; to perform this type of query, you need to enter a zip code of interest into the directory. Then, the directory will scan public records to reveal all the sex offenders who live in that area.