Statutory Rape

Texas law prohibits adults from having sexual contact and intercourse with anyone 16 years of age and younger. In Texas, the age of consent is 17.

The state does have special laws that allow teenagers within a three-year age difference of each other to have sexual intercourse. These laws are known as “Romeo and Juliet” provisions. Outside of these provisions however, someone 16 and younger cannot legally give consent to an adult.

San Antonio Statutory Rape Attorney

If you are accused of statutory rape, it is important that you act fast to protect your rights. Charges do not mean a conviction. The criminal defense attorneys at Goldstein & Orr have decades of experience defending people accused of sex crimes and will fight to protect your rights.

Goldstein & Orr represents clients on a variety of serious felony charges in San Antonio, Bexar County and throughout Texas. Call (210) 226-1463 to schedule a free phone consultation. We can help you get the best possible results in your case.


Info on Statutory Rape Laws


Statutory Rape Under Texas Law

The Texas Penal Code does not have a specific section for statutory rape. Instead, the charge falls under section 22.01(a)(3) of the Texas Penal Code, which states “intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or proactive.”

Even if a teen younger than 17 years old agrees to having sex with an adult, Texas law does not recognize consent from minors when an adult is involved.

However, an exception is made for older teenagers who have intercourse and perform other sexual acts with younger teenagers. The “Romeo and Juliet” provisions allows anyone ages 14 to 17 to legally give consent with someone who is within three years of their age. This means a 14-year-old teen can consent to having sex with a 17-year-old teen, someone 15 can consent to sex with someone who is 18, and so on. Under these provisions, a 16-year-old teen can give consent to a 19-year-old man or woman.


Sex Crimes Involving Minors

Charges involving sex crimes with minors in Texas take the victim’s age into consideration and if any force or threats were used during sexual contact. The charges and penalties for statutory rape are as follows:

  • Indecency with a child by contact – This charge involves sexual contact by touching someone 16 or younger or causing the minor to engage in sexual contact. Texas Penal Code § 21.11(c) defines sexual contact for this offense as any touching any touching by an alleged offender, including touching through clothing, of the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of a child, or any touching of any part of the body of a child, including touching through clothing, with the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of an alleged offender. A person can also be charged with this offense if he or she causes a child, minor, underage person or juvenile 16 or younger to participate in any form of sexual contact.
  • Sexual assault of a child – This charge can be applied to someone who sexually penetrates a child 13 or younger, and if the accused is three or more years older than the victim.
  • Aggravated sexual assault of a child – This charge pertains to anyone who uses coercion or force in order to have sex with a victim who is 13 years of age or younger.

Penalties for Statutory Rape

The penalties for statutory rape in Texas vary depending on the victim’s age and what sexual acts were performed. Penalties for crimes involving statutory rape may include:

  • Indecency with a child is a second-degree felony punishable by a two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
  • Sexual assault of a child is considered a second-degree felony punishable by five to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Aggravated sexual assault of a child is a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Statutory rape convictions in Texas often require the offender to register with his or her local law enforcement authority for a specific period of time, depending on the severity of the sexual conviction. The mandatory time of registering can be 10 years or a lifetime, depending on the severity of the crime.

The person registering as a sex offender will have to provide his or her legal full names and aliases, date of birth, a physical description, Social Security number, driver’s license number, home address, a photograph, fingerprints, type of offense and employment status. Most of this information then becomes available to the public.


Finding a lawyer for sex crimes in Bexar County

Any accusation of a sexually motivated crime is serious. Under the American system of justice, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The attorneys at Goldstein & Orr will fight to defend your presumption of innocence as you fight for the best possible resolution in the case.

If you are charged with any kind of alleged sexually motivated offense in San Antonio, Bexar County or the surrounding areas in Texas, then call (210) 226-1463 for a free phone consultation.

 

 

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