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Age of consent interstate general law questions for research

07001 |

According to most laws such as the Mann act and protect act, it is illegal to cross state or international lines to avoid the age of consent in your home state. There are also many state laws

1. What if your girlfriend who is 16 willfully travels from NY to NJ (NY 18 to NJ 16) would this still be illegal since you are not violating your state law? I know the law can also throw in persuasion but what if it was not your idea?

2. Now say a tourist from NY that is 18 has sex with someone from NJ who is 16 with no prior knowledge of who they are is there a legal issue for either party? Can NY get jurisdiction or is there an NJ law? Protect act is 16 when not commercial.

3. What if a tourist from NY who is 16 comes to NJ to find older partners, is there any repercussion to any party

Mann act seems to pertain to transportation, persuasion and coercion. Protect act when dealing with non commercial sex pertains to under 16 New Jersey is age of consent 16, so I doubt they have interstate laws on the books. For question 1, I am not sure if prosecution can easily find coercion or persuasion in a relationship. Question 2 and 3, I see no federal laws besides those and I am not sure if NY can claim jurisdiction out of state. I see no laws with NJ. Interstate law always seems to be kind of hazy, so hopefully you can clarify.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. The Mann Act was essentially a racist law passed to imprison Jack Johnson, who was heavy weight champion of the World at the time. As to the remainder of the question, lack of knowledge as to someone's age will not be any defense to sex with a minor.


  2. Knowledge of her age is irrelevant and not a defense. It is a strict liability offense.

    Attorney answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. There are always specific facts that are important for an attorney to review before providing advice to a Client. In no way should you rely on the response provided herein to conduct your legal affairs on your own. You should always hire an attorney before you rely on advice provided.

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