Dec 19

What is the difference between rape and statutory rape?

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criminal defense attorney mnStatutory rape is often referred to nonforcible sexual activity where one of the individuals is below the age of consent (which means the age required to legally consent to the behavior). Although it usually refers to adults engaging in sexual contact with minors under the age of consent (age 16 in Minnesota), it is a generic term, and very few jurisdictions use the actual term “statutory rape” in the language of statutes.

Criminal Sexual Conduct (Rape) can be prosecuted in many different ways. Listed below are the state summaries of criminal sexual conduct, starting with the most serious to the least serious.

Criminal sexual conduct in the first degree is sexual penetration of another person or sexual contact with a person who is less than thirteen years old, and some other circumstance exists, such as the under-thirteen-year-old and the offender are more than three years apart in age, the offender had a dangerous weapon and used or threatened to use it, or the two individuals had a significant relationship and the minor was less than sixteen years old. The sentence is up to 30 years in prison and/or up to a $40,000 fine. See https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=609.342.

Second degree criminal sexual conduct is sexual contact with another person and some other circumstance like those in first degree criminal sexual conduct. The sentence is up to 25 years in prison and/or up to a $35,000 fine. See https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=609.343.

Third degree criminal sexual conduct is sexual penetration of another and some other circumstance like those in first degree criminal sexual conduct or others, such as the offender knows the other individual is mentally impaired or physically helpless, the two have a psychotherapist-patient relationship, or the offender was a masseuse to the other. The sentence is up to 15 years in prison and/or up to a $30,000 fine. See https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=609.344.

Criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree is sexual contact with another person and some other circumstance like those in third degree criminal sexual conduct. The sentence is up to 10 years in prison and/or up to a $20,000 fine.
See https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=609.345.

Fifth degree criminal sexual conduct is an act of nonconsensual sexual contact or certain acts of the showing of the genitals to an individual under sixteen years of age. This offense carries a sentence of up to 1 year in prison and/or up to a $3,000 fine. The offense, however, may be a felony if this is a second offense of lewd exhibition of the genitals to an individual under sixteen years of age or the same offense in a different state. Such a felony carries a sentence of up to 5 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. See https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=609.3451.

Federal sexual abuse is governed by 18 U.S.C. §§ 2241–2248. Each of the statutes relates to a different crime, such as aggravated sexual abuse or abusive sexual contact. 18 U.S.C. § 2242 governs general sexual abuse. If you force another to engage in a sexual act or if you engage in a sexual act when the other either does not know what the act is or cannot withhold consent, you could be sentenced to up to life in prison. See https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2242.

1. How long do you go to jail for statutory rape?

That depends on which statute you are convicted off. Some defendants do not go to jail at all after being convicted and some will go to prison for many decades, and in some cases, life.

2. Is it legal for an 18 to date a 15?

That depends on what you mean by date. It is not legal for a 15-year-old to have sexual contact with an 18-year-old, as the age of consent in Minnesota is 16 years old. Not a good idea. Don’t be stupid.

3. What does 3rd Degree sexual conduct mean?

Third degree criminal sexual conduct is sexual penetration of another and some other circumstance like those in first degree criminal sexual conduct or others, such as the offender knows the other individual is mentally impaired or physically helpless, the two have a psychotherapist-patient relationship, or the offender was a masseuse to the other. The sentence is up to 15 years in prison and/or up to a $30,000 fine. Many of the Third-Degree charges carry presumptive commitments to prison for at least 36-48 months.

See https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=609.344.