Is it legal for a 14 year old female to date an 18 year old male?
3 attorney answers
Dating itself isn’t illegal, but he’s certainly inviting all kinds of problems that could end with him in prison and a lifetime registry.
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It is not legal to have sex at age 13 -- not with someone your own age and not with someone who's 17. I'm sure you haven't done that yet, so *don't.*
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In Iowa, the general age of consent to engage in sex is 16. However, anyone may consent to sex at age 14 so long as their partner is no more than 4 years older TO THE DAY. The Iowa age of consent law applies equally to both homosexual and heterosexual conduct. Sexual abuse in the third degree is a Class C Felony, with up to 10 years in prison.
Dating a minor UNDER the age of consent -- without sexual contact -- is not illegal as long as the minor's parents/guardians are OK with it. Some state's laws allow minors who have reached the age of consent (16, 17, or 18 depending on which state) to legally engage in consensual sexual intercourse/contact with anyone the same age or older. And Romeo&Juliet exceptions might also apply. So dating -- with or without sexual contact -- a minor who is AT or OVER the age of consent is not illegal as long as the parents or guardians are OK with it. In either case, If they are not good with it, they could file police reports that result in charges of "Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor", "Interference with Parental Control" or something else (even Kidnapping) that might be appropriate in that particular state. They can also get a No Contact/Restraining Order/Order of Protection against the person. For example, In Mississippi, the age of consent is 16, but the age of majority is 21. A 20-year-old minor can legally consent to sexual contact. So with their parents' permission, it is perfectly alright. If the parents don't agree, they should wait until they are 21 to keep their lover out of trouble.
● 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. Importuning, 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 Act (Felony)
1. Rape and/or Sexual Abuse and/or Molestation of a Child (Felony)
● Notes to the older person: Children often have "Romantic Fantasies" that they tell their friends or write down. Children often seek revenge when the adult drops them for another sex target.
● Other Notes This is not a complete list of ALL possible ways the adult can get in trouble/jail/prison.
Pissed-off parents can make your life miserable.
● Creepiness: And one more thing: many people would consider dating between an "old" and "young" person to be "creepy". There is a rule of thumb is that it’s only OK to date a youngster who is over one-half the older's age plus seven years. This gives rise to the Creepiness Formula:
Dating someone that is past ½(the older's age) + 7 = Not Creepy
and the reciprocal, dating someone that is younger than ½(the older's age) + 7 = Is Creepy.According to the formula, it is not creepy for an 18-year-old to date a 16 year-old, but dating anyone younger is Officially Creepy, and implies that the older person is a CHILD MOLESTER.
PLEASE DO NOT PRIVATE MESSAGE ME with followup questions. Instead, you may make a comment below, which will be sent to me automatically. If you need an attorney to assist you, please search in your local area, or click the "Find a Lawyer" link at the top of the page. I am active on AVVO and answer questions only as a public service. I am an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of California. Unless we have both signed a formal retainer agreement you are not my client, and my discussion of issues does not constitute legal advice. Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of those who hold other opinions.