Statutory Rape: How to Avoid Sex Offender Registration

December 27, 2013

In Texas, statutory rape occurs whenever an individual penetrates another who is less than 17 and not his spouse. Statutory rape is one of the few crimes of strict liability, which means that a person is absolutely responsible for his or her behavior without the need to show intent. As such, it is common for charges of statutory rape to bring a conviction, even if the act was consensual or the perpetrator did not know the other party was under age. Many times, a conviction will also require an individual to register as a sex offender.

Some teenagers could have an affirmative defense to charges of statutory rape if they are no more than three years older than their victim, who is at least 14 years of age. The act must also be consensual in order for this affirmative defense to apply. The use of “date rape” or other drugs to entice sex would be in violation of statutory rape laws, since someone who is intoxicated cannot legally give consent.