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What is Statutory Rape and Punishment in Pennsylvania?

What is Statutory Rape?

Statutory rape is sexual intercourse, where one of the party is below the age of consent. Even though this act has happened with the full consent of the parties involved, it would be considered as rape and categorized as statutory rape. This is because one of the party was below the legal minimum age prescribed to consent for sex.

Sexual relations among young people is common. But, the state to ensure that the rights of minors are protected and they are not exploited to make them consent to sex.

It is for this reason that each of the states in the US has a fixed age of consent. This is the age below which sex is considered as illegal. Age is fixed based on various factors. The implication of age of consent is that sexual intercourse with anyone below the age of consent is unlawful and is termed as statutory rape and invites prosecution.

Pennsylvania Statutory Rape Law

Statutory rape in Pennsylvania

In the state of Pennsylvania, the age of consent as per the law is 16 years. Therefore, sex with someone under the age of 16 would be deemed as statutory rape and can lead to conviction and punishment. Even if consent has been given or even if the person below 16 years has initiated the act, statutory rape invites punishment.

The Pennsylvania law (as codified in Pennsylvania Criminal Code 3122.1) has explained the application of this law.

The law provides for a close-in-age exemption that is popularly referred to as a Romeo Juliet exemption. Governments have understood that teenagers do have sex and all instances of sex, even though it is with someone below 16 years cannot lead to imprisonment.

Therefore, there is an exception provided in the law. This exception states that if the age difference between a minor (older than 13 years) is less than four years then it is not illegal. So, sex between a 13-year-old and a 16-year-old is legal, if consensual.

Statutory Rape Law Pennsylvania

The provision of the statutory law and punishment in Pennsylvania

The various requirements of the Pennsylvania law that deals with rape and statutory rape related to the age of the victim are as follows:

  • Sexual intercourse (including genital, anal or oral penetration) with a minor less than 13 years of age is a first-degree felony punishable by fine and imprisonment of up to 40 years.
  • Statutory sexual assault is sexual intercourse with a child 13, 14, or 15 years. When the perpetrator is four to ten years older than the victim, it is considered a second-degree felony punishable with a fine and imprisonment for up to 20 years. If the perpetrator is older by more than 11 years, then it is a first-degree felony and can lead to imprisonment for up to 40 years.
  • Aggravated indecent assault is genital or anal penetration with a minor younger than 13 years or with a minor 14 to 15 years, where the perpetrator is more than four years older. This is a second-degree felony punishable with a fine and imprisonment of up to 10 years in prison.
  • Indecent assault, including sexual touching with someone younger than 13 years is a misdemeanor punishable by fine and prison sentence of up to 5 years. If the minor is more than 13 years, imprisonment of up to two years is the punishment under the law.
  • In Pennsylvania, sex between a teacher or school staff with students is treated as a third-degree felony and is punishable by fine and imprisonment for up to seven years in prison.
Pennsylvania Rape Laws

Pennsylvania Sex Offender Search

When a person violates Pennsylvania statutory rape laws, the data about their sex crimes becomes available through public records. Finding Pennsylvania registered sex offenders is easy these days thanks to professional public records directories, like GoLookUp. Performing the search can be done in two ways, depending on the type of query you want to perform.

To find out if a person is a registered sex offender, you can use GoLookUp's criminal records directory. To perform the search and find out if the person in question has violated Pennsylvania statutory rape laws, you need to enter their name into the directory. As soon as you do, the directory will scan the said person's public records, and provide you with information about them. The report will include the person's complete criminal history, including sex crimes registries and a detailed account of sex crimes.

Another directory available to you on GoLookUp is the zip code sex offender directory; with this search engine, you need to enter a Pennsylvania zip code. Then, the directory will scan public records about the sex offenders in that zip code, and it will compile a list of all the sex offenders who live in that area. The Pennsylvania sex offender list will include the name of the registered sex offenders in the zip code, their mugshots, the crimes they have committed, and whether they have violated  Pennsylvania statutory rape laws.