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What Is Statutory Rape Law and Its Punishments in New Carolina?

There are very few criminal charges, which are more severe than sex crimes. Also, when the charges are related to a minor, then the stigma becomes even more serious. The accused can be convicted with a felony-level crime for participating in sexual intercourse with an individual who is less than the consenting age although such an activity took place with the latter's consent. What makes statutory rape distinct from other crimes is that the sexual act can be frequently consensual. 

The state of North Carolina has many laws pertaining to sexual assault ranging from taking indecent liberties to forcible rape and child sexual abuse. Such crimes, when convicted, can result in years of imprisonment, as well as, compulsory registration for being a sex offender. 

Statutory rape law in the state of North Carolina is violated if an individual participates in sexual intercourse with a minor whose age is less than 16 years. There is an exemption of close-in-age if the perpetrator is less than four years older. Any K-12 employee can indulge in sexual activities with a pupil unless when they are married irrespective of age.

North Carolina Statutory Rape Law
Consenting age in North Carolina

The age of consenting in North Carolina is applicable when an individual is 16-years-old. The consenting age in the United States of America is that minimum age wherein a person is regarded as legally capable of giving consent for engaging in sexual activity. Persons who are 15-years-old or less in the state of North Carolina cannot give consent in a legal capacity to participate in sexual activities. As such, these activities can lead to being prosecuted with charges of statutory rape. 

Close-in-age exemption in North Carolina

Such an exemption is also referred to widely as "Romeo and Juliet law." The exemption has been specifically designed to stop prosecuting those underage couples who participate in consensual sex while both of them have little age difference between them.

Based on a particular scenario, the close-in-age exemption in North Carolina may have a full exemption, thus making the close-in-age couples immune from the law of consenting age or just offer a legal defense, which can be utilized in case there is a prosecution.

Statutory Rape Law North Carolina

Potential penalties against statutory rape law violation in North Carolina

Statutory rape by an adult to a child is committed when there is an act of vaginal intercourse between a child below 13-years-old and an adult whose age is 18 years or more. Such statutory rape falls under the felony of Class B1.

In North Carolina, 1st-degree statutory rape involves vaginal intercourse between the perpetrator whose age is at least 12 years and a child aged 12 years or less. The perpetrator has to be at least 4 years older in comparison to the victim. Statutory rape of 1st-degree is a felony of Class B1 too. 

The state of North Carolina regards charges pertaining to statutory rape more seriously when the victim is much younger and the perpetrator is an older adult. An example of this would be when an individual aged at least 18 years has vaginal intercourse with a minor whose age is less than 13 years in North Carolina, and the perpetrator is convicted, it is always considered a felony and can lead to a maximum imprisonment term of 25 years. 

North Carolina Rape Laws

It is imperative for the perpetrator to hire the services of a knowledgeable defense counsel who is an expert in handling cases related to statutory rape. After all, there is a strong social stigma attached if the offense is established. Defendants should approach a seasoned defense attorney to ensure that they can fight the prosecution effectively.

North Carolina Sex Offender Search

Finding out who is a registered sex offender can help you protect yourself from people who may cause you harm. To find out who is a North Carolina registered sex offender, and who has violated North Carolina statutory rape laws, you can perform an online search with GoLookUp.

If you want to find out if a certain person is a registered sex offender, you can use the site's criminal records' check. To complete the search, all that you have to do is enter the first name and the last name of the person that you are searching. Then you will get a report about the said person's criminal history, including whether they have violated North Carolina statutory rape laws or other laws.

You can also perform a zip code sex offender search with the website; after you enter a zip code of interest into the directory, it will scan North Carolina public records to find out who are the registered sex offenders in that area. At the end of the search, you will get a list of the sex offenders who live in that area, including their mugshots, names, addresses, distance from you, and the sex crimes they were convicted of.