Not Everyone Can Give Consent
In order for sex to be consensual between two people, both must have the legal ability to give consent. In essence, consent is not valid unless a person has the ability to give legal consent. The lack of the ability to give that consent lies at the heart of statutory rape in Oklahoma.
The age of consent for sexual intercourse in Oklahoma is 16. A child under that age may not give legal consent for sexual contact. That is true even if one of the parties verbalizes their consent. The consent is simply not valid legally.
Statutory rape is not a violent crime. The crime usually involves willing partners.
The problem is that one of the partners is unable to give legal consent to the interaction. The crime occurs when a person who is over the age of 18 has sex with a person who is 15 years of age or younger.
Statutory rape is prosecuted under Oklahoma’s rape and sex crime laws.
Penalties for Statutory Rape in Oklahoma
The penalties for statutory rape in Oklahoma depend on the ages of the persons involved. Oklahoma categorizes rape as either of the first or second degree.
Rape in the first degree includes sex between a person who is over the age of 18 and a person who is younger than 14. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1114
First-degree rape is a felony crime and carries a penalty of at least five years in prison. In some cases, it can carry a sentence of life in prison. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1115
Rape in the Second Degree
Statutory rape of the second degree includes all other instances of sex between a person over the age of 18 and a person younger than 16.
Second-degree rape in Oklahoma is a felony offense. It is punishable by a prison term from 1 to 15 years. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1116
Sex Offender Registry
In addition, if convicted, a defendant must register as a sex offender.
Being on the sex offender registry is usually a difficult outcome for a person convicted of statutory rape. This can limit where a person is able to live and work for years.
Defenses to Statutory Rape
The law recognizes an exception when both partners are close in age. The exception is sometimes called the Romeo and Juliet law, and pertains to people who are at least 14 years old and younger than 19. This law prohibits prosecution even though one of the partners is under the age of consent. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 §1112
Mistaken age is not a defense.
If you or a loved one are facing charges and have questions, it is important that you hire an experienced Okmulgee criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Facts are important and can help protect your freedom. Get the help you need.
Free Consultation with an Okmulgee Lawyer
Call 918-756-9600 or 1-888-Wirth-Law (1-888-947-8452) now for a free consultation with an Okmulgee, Oklahoma lawyer at Wirth Law Office – Okmulgee.
You can also submit the question form at the top right of this page, and one of our attorneys will call or email you right away.