Although young people sometimes choose to engage in sexual conduct, the state views those under the age of 18-years-old as lacking the capacity to give legal consent for such contact. As a result, relationships between people over the age of consent and minors may lead to the elder partner-facing serious criminal charges.
Understanding the state’s laws regarding intimate relationships involving minors under the age of legal consent may help people protect themselves and their rights.
The state of Arizona refers to the charge commonly known as statutory rape as sexual conduct with a minor. According to state law, sexual conduct with a minor occurs when someone has intentional oral sexual contact or intercourse with someone under 18-years-old. Depending on factors, such as whether the defendant was a teacher, coach or otherwise in a position of trust to the alleged victim, this offense may classify as a class two or as a class six felony.
According to state law, in response to statutory rape charges, people may argue a defense commonly referred to as a Romeo and Juliet law. The state generally does not pursue criminal charges against those alleged to have engaged in sexual contact with a minor if the following circumstances exist:
Facing charges for sexual conduct with a minor often has significant consequences. However, building a solid defense may help people safeguard their freedom, as well as their good names.
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