In North America, the legal age of consent relating to sexual activity varies by jurisdiction. The age of consent in Canada is As of August , each U. The age of consent in Mexico is complex. Sexual relations which occur between adults and teenagers under 18 are left in a legal gray area: laws against corruption of minors as well as estupro laws can be applied to such acts, at the discretion of the prosecution.
Your year-old son is dating a year-old female classmate — no big deal, right? Take, for example, the widely publicized case of Marcus Dwayne Dixon, an year-old high school honor student and star football player who had sex with a year-old female classmate. She claimed it was rape, he claimed it was consensual, and a jury acquitted him of the charges. However, because of their age difference, the jury still found Dixon guilty of statutory rape and aggravated child molestation, and sentenced him to a mandatory 10 years in prison under Georgia law. He walked out of prison on May 3, , at age 19, a free man. Prior to his court case and conviction, Dixon had been offered a full football scholarship at Vanderbilt University, which was revoked after his arrest. Upon his release from prison, Dixon enrolled at Hampton University in Virginia with a football scholarship.
The consequences of relying on information on this page in order to determine if participating in a particular relationship would be legal under the laws of a particular state can be grave. They can result in criminal prosecution, conviction, a lengthy prison sentence, and a lifetime requirement to register as a sexual offender. In the United States, age of consent laws regarding sexual activity are made at the state level. There are several federal statutes related to protecting minors from sexual predators, but laws regarding specific age requirements for sexual consent are left to individual states , District of Columbia , and territories. Depending on the jurisdiction, the legal age of consent is between 16 and
By Monica Steiner , Contributing Author. In California, it is illegal for an adult someone 18 or older to have sex with a minor someone younger than 18 , even if the sex is consensual. Those who break the law have committed statutory rape.