Facing sex crime charges is serious and can change your life if you’re convicted. If you’re a Missouri resident, you should know the age of consent laws for 2022.
In Missouri, a person must be at least 17 years old in order to legally consent to any sexual activity. Anyone younger is incapable of giving consent.
Adults who engage in sexual activity with a person under 17 can be charged with statutory rape. It’s also illegal for teachers and school employees to have sexual contact with students.
In a statutory rape case, the victim’s age is the only important factor. Even if the victim tells the police they wanted to have sex with the defendant or testifies that they consented, that doesn’t matter.
However, there are some situations that can result in the statutory rape charges being lesser than other cases. If the victim and defendant are close in age such as 18 and 16, a conviction might be for a lesser degree than the most serious charge, statutory rape in the first degree. On the flip side, if an adult, even a young person of 18 or 19, has sexual intercourse with a child as young as 13, they could end up convicted of statutory rape in the first degree.
First-degree statutory rape is a felony that carries five years to life in prison or 10 years to life in prison when the victim is younger than 12. For a second-degree statutory rape conviction, the person can face up to seven years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. It’s also a felony offense.
Statutory rape is a serious crime that requires a solid defense. Taking action is critical to protecting your rights.
For personalized legal guidance, call our office at 417-882-9300 or submit this form to schedule a meeting with an attorney.