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Im 16 & Pregnant By a 20 Year Old I Will Be 17 Before The Child Is Born, Under The New Romeo & Juliet Law Is This A Crime?

Dallas, TX |

I Will Be 17 In January Baby Due In Febuary & He Turns 21 April.

Should I Let Him Sign The Birth Certificate also?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. It is still a crime. What you are talking about is an affirmative defense to the crime. It will help if he is involved in the baby's life and shares his financial and parental obligations. The police will not become involved unless someone (like you or a parent) contacts them to file charges.

    Macy Jaggers's answer to a legal question on Avvo does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Jaggers offers everyone a free consultation to discuss their case. Feel free to call her office at 214-365-9800 to make an appointment (phones are answered 24 hours) or visit her website at www.macyjaggers.com for more information about her services and recent victories.


  2. Unfortunately Ms. Jaggers' answer is not correct. The Romeo and Juliet Law applies only to registering as a sex offender. The law regarding sexual assault says a person under the age of 17 cannot consent to sex thus sex with such a person is a crime. The law provides a defense that the parties are within THREE years of age of each other (not 3 years plus 1 day....), then the person cannot be convicted.

    Regardless of how old you are when the baby is born, the father of that child committed a crime and can be prosecuted for it no matter what.

    Cynthia Henley
    713-222-1220


  3. Ms. Henley is correct--there is no "new" law on this subject, the only recent change relates to the sex offender registration rules. The three year affirmative defense that she explained has actually been around for quite a while, and obviously your situation is not covered by it. Further, I may be wrong about this, but I believe that the hospital has a legal duty when a baby is born to a girl under 17 to report that to CPS or law enforcement, because of her being under the age that she can legally consent to sex. From what I've seen, such reports don't always seem to really be followed up on, but they very definitely are in some cases similar to yours. If that happens, it is possible that he could be arrested. With or without an arrest, the situation could be considered by a grand jury, who would decide whether to charge him with a felony. That would not, by the way, require your parents to "press charges", though that might be a factor that was taken into consideration, perhaps along with whether he appeared to be voluntarily supporting and nurturing you and your child.


  4. The short answer is it is a crime that may be prosecuted if the district attorney gets an indictment. The affirmative defense is for people over 14 years of age and within 36 months of age.

    This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. This information is general to anyone, and is not intended to be advice to anyone's specific situation. You should consult an attorney immediately concerning your legal issue. This is not intended to be relied upon as a final or conclusive solution.

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