In the city of Atlanta, citizens are expected to abide by the Georgia statutory rape laws. These laws are put in place to protect minors who may not be able to consent to intercourse with a level of maturity and responsibility. Statutory rape has nothing to do with actual, physical consent.
In Georgia, it is illegal for anyone to have sexual intercourse with a person who is under the age of 16. Even if the child consents to such an act, the person who is over the age of 18 has violated the law. These crimes are most often charged when a guardian presses charges against the adult in the interest of their minor child.
Additionally, Georgia has what are known as Romeo and Juliet laws in place. Teenagers often date each other without thought of age. A person would still be charged with statutory rape, but as a misdemeanor classification.
For example, Steven and Emily have been dating and decide to have intercourse. Emily is 15 and Steven is 19. Emily’s mother finds out about the aforementioned activity and calls the police. Both teenagers admit to having intercourse, and both teenagers say that it was consensual. Steven can be charged with statutory rape, but he will be charged with a misdemeanor.
A person convicted of statutory rape may be subject to 1 to 20 years in prison if they are under 21 years old. If they are over 21 years old, they face 10 to 20 years in prison and must register as a sex offender. If charged with a misdemeanor and convicted, the penalty is up to a year in jail, fines, probation, a possible protection order and possibly community service.
To learn more about Georgia statutory rape laws, contact our Atlanta rape and sexual assault lawyer.