The stereotypical view of rape is that it is always a violent crime. Most of the time, that is true. But with statutory rape — or second-degree rape in Okmulgee — that is not the case. In Oklahoma, rape can occur when a person is legally unable to give consent to sexual intercourse. This is a far different crime than first-degree rape.
Here is what you need to know about how Oklahoma classifies rape.
Oklahoma Rape Classifications
Oklahoma classifies many of its crimes, including rape, according to degree. The lower the number, the more serious the crime.
First-degree rape is what we normally think of as violent rape. It is a crime of violence. In contrast, a second-degree rape — what is often called statutory rape — the parties want to have sex together, but because of age or infirmity, cannot consent.
Statutory rape can occur in a number of situations. The parties to the intercourse can be of the same or opposite sex.
The legal age at which one can give consent in Oklahoma is 16.
Statutory rape applies to all these situations:
- The victim is under the age of 16, but not younger than 14; or
- The perpetrator caused the victim to believe that they are married and so intercourse is OK; or
- The victim, because of unsound mind or other infirmity, is unable to give consent; or
- The perpetrator is employed by a governmental or other agency of which the victim was under legal custody or supervision, and the perpetrator exercised authority over the victim; or
- The victim was between 16 and 20 years of age and was a student or under legal supervision of a school, and the defendant was 18 years of age or older and was an employee of the victim’s school; or
- The victim was 19 years or younger and in the legal custody of a court or other state or federal agency and the defendant was either the foster parent or foster parent applicant.
Romeo and Juliet Exemption
There is an exemption for close-in-age sexual encounters. Called the Romeo and Juliet law, and pertains to people who are at least 14 years old and younger than 19. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1112
This precludes prosecution for these persons, even though one of them may be unable to give legal consent.
Penalties for Statutory Rape
If convicted, you could face anywhere from 1 to 15 years in prison.
The penalties for statutory rape can be harsh. In addition, if convicted, you must register for the sex offender registry. This can stay with a defendant long after they have served their time.
If you or a loved one are facing charges in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, it is important that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
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