My friend wants to have a boyfriend that is 18 and she is currently 14, hr birthday was 2 days ago. She says they don’t want to have sex or anything like that, but is a LOVE relationship between an 18 year old man and a 14 year old girl illegal?
This is a great idea if the 18 year old wants to go to jail...too many things can go wrong. He needs to stay away... she needs to stop unless she wants him in jail.
This is for general information only. Nothing in this information should be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship nor shall any of this information be construed as providing legal advice. Laws change over time and differ from state to state. These answers are based on California Law.Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should not act upon the information presented herein without consulting an attorney about your particular situation. No attorney-client relationship is established.
Illegal? No. Stupid? For him it is. He should cool it.
Dating is not regulated by law. Sexual conduct (not just intercourse) is.
- Holding hands = not a problem
- Going to movies or out to eat or on a picnic = not a problem
- Sneaking out with minor in violation of parents’ wishes = problem
- Kissing (lip to lip - no private parts) = not a problem
- Sexting with a minor (<18) = big problem
- Images of minor (<18) that are sexually explicit = big problem
- Touching private parts (either party, even through clothes) if either is under the age of consent = big problem
Then there is always the problem of he-said/she-said. There are people in prison based on false accusations.
A person becomes an adult at the age of majority, which in most states is 18. Exceptions are Alabama & Nebraska (19), and District of Columbia & Mississippi (21). Until then, the parents pretty much control their life, including whom they date. If the parents wish, they can report "contributing to the delinquency of a minor" if someone interferes with their control. After reaching the age of majority, the new adult can date anyone, leave home against their parent's wishes, live where they want, associate with anybody they wish, pay their own bills and bail themselves out of jail.
Dating a minor UNDER the age of consent -- without sexual contact -- is not illegal if the parents or guardians are OK with it. If they are not, the parents or guardians could file police reports that result in charges of "Contributing to the delinquency of a minor" or "Interference with Custody" or something else that might be appropriate in that state. Likewise, dating a minor who is OVER the age of consent -- with or without sexual contact -- is not illegal if the parents or guardians are OK with it. Legal does not mean wise.
Even with the best of intentions otherwise, dating relationships often become sexual relationships. If sexual contact is involved, the ages of the couple, the nature of the sexual contact, whether it was consensual or not, when it took place, and the state in which it took place would be important to know. Their state may or may not have specific laws that apply to the relationship.
If sexually suggestive photos of a person under 18 are taken and/or shared (sexting), federal laws regarding production, distribution, and possession of child pornography come into play. There may also be state laws prohibiting the action. These can charges carry lengthy prison sentences. Wisconsin’s law carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence.
In general, to be completely safe, adults should not "date" children.
In Wisconsin, a person is considered an adult at the age of 18 for purposes of being a victim and at the age of 17 for purposes of being a criminal. Thus, two 17-year-olds can both be charged, as adults, with having sexual intercourse with a child.
The Top Ten crimes that an adult who has a "relationship" with a child MIGHT be charged with:
10. Interference with the Custody and Control of a Parent (Misdemeanor)
9. Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor (Misdemeanor)
8. Lewd or Lascivious Conduct or Communication with a minor for immoral purposes (Misdemeanor)
7. Providing Alcohol to a Minor (Misdemeanor)
6. "Grooming" a Child (Felony)
5. Sexting and/or Solicitation of a Minor (Felony)
4. Possession, Production, and Distribution of Child Pornography (Felony)
3. Loitering, Conspiracy to Loiter, and Mopery (Misdemeanor or Felony)
2. Kidnapping and/or a violation of the Mann (Federal Felony)
1. Rape and/or Sexual Abuse and/or Molestation of a Child (Felony)
A number of the above can result in being required to register as a sex offender.
Much of above copied from responses by Atty. Gary Ilmanen of California because I think he stated it well and I agree with it.
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