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What is Statutory Rape and Punishment in Vermont?

Statutory rape is sexual intercourse with a person below the age of consent. Consent is one of the key legal aspects involved in rape. Consent is the willing participation of parties during sexual intercourse. Sex without consent is rape, and this is a criminal act and liable to be punished severely. Statutory rape is where sex happens with the consent, but the consent given is legally not valid. What this means is one of the parties having sex is below the age of consent and hence the consent given is invalid. 

The age of consent is fixed by states to indicate the age below which sexual intercourse is not valid. Those below the age of consent are considered children who may not in a position to give consent or consent be obtained through coercion or enticement. Therefore, sex with someone below the age of consent is considered statutory rape.

Vermont Statutory Rape Law

Statutory rape in Vermont

In the state of Vermont, the age of consent has been fixed to be 16 years of age. The Vermont Criminal Code 3252 states that ‘no person shall engage in a sexual act with a child who is under the age of 16’. This indicates that since 16 is the age of consent in the state, anyone having sex with someone below the age of 16 is guilty of committing statutory rape, even if consent has been obtained and also if the child initiated the sex. This can invite prosecution and punishment under the law.

However, there are exceptions provided under the law. What this means is that every case of sex with a person under 16 will not lead to prosecution. The reasons for exceptions is in line with reality. While theoretically, the age of consent in fixed, in practice, the state cannot stop teenagers from having sex. Teenagers also get married and sex between a married couple cannot be a crime. To address this, exceptions have been provided under the law.

Statutory Rape Law Vermont

Exceptions provided for Statutory Rape in Vermont

  • Sex with someone under the age of 16 is not a crime if the two parties are married.
  • If the child is 15 years old and the other party is less than 19 years old, and the act is consensual, then it is treated as an exception. This is popularly known as the Romeo Juliet exception. This keeps in mind that teenagers do have sex. Sex between a minor and another person not more than 4 years older is permissible under the law, and it does not invite prosecution.
  • There is a rider to this. If the person engaging in sex is a relative or is in a position of authority then the age limit is fixed at 18. This means someone 18 years or older who is a teacher, coach, or a relative cannot have sex with a 15-year-old.
  • If a person has been entrusted with the care of a child under 16 years of age, then sex with that child is illegal under the law.

Punishment for Statutory Rape in Vermont

  • A conviction for statutory rape under the Vermont law would lead to a fine and imprisonment for up to 20 years in prison.
  • Aggravated sexual assault on a minor below 13 years by someone 18 years is punishable by fine and imprisonment of 10 years or life.
  • Lascivious conduct with a child can lead to imprisonment for 2 to 15 years. 
  • The laws for statutory rape in Vermont are stringent as the state believes that the rights of minors should be protected and they should not be exploited for sex.
Vermont Rape Laws

Vermont Sex Offender Search

People who violate Vermont statutory rape laws are required to be registered as a sex offender in the state, and in any other place that they move to. As a matter of public safety and as part of the Freedom of Information Act in the United States, information about a registered sex offender is available through public records. To search for registered sex offenders who have violated Vermont statutory rape laws or performed other sex crimes, you can perform an online Vermont sex offender search.

The first method of searching Vermont sex offenders is to use the state's public search directories. You can also use a public records search directory, like GoLookUp; the site's criminal records search directory can provide you with information about individuals; so, if you want to find out if a person is a registered sex offender, you can enter their name into this directory.

You can also use GoLookUp's zip code-based sex offender search; with this type of search, you can enter a Vermont zip code to find out who are the registered sex offenders who live in that area. GoLookUp will scan all the public records in the said zip code, and will provide you with a detailed list of all the registered sex offenders who live there.