21 year old and 16 year old have started relationship. The former in Maine, the latter in Tennessee. No sexual contact thus far. Wish to date but want to know the law first. They realize the foolish, dangerous nature of this, and how it is frowned upon, but wish to proceed regardless. They wouldn't be physically intimate until the minor came of age. What are the limitations on being in a relationship with that age difference, especially sexually. Would expression of sexual desire through words be illegal? Would sexually suggestive, but not nude, photographs be illegal? Would erotic dialogue for the purpose of reaching mutual self-pleasure be illegal? Etcetera etcetera. The importance should be on online relationships, and the legal ramifications of acts done over the internet. Thank you.
As for sexual contact, the law will depend on what state the act happens in. In TE, the age of consent is 18 and it would be rape for the two of you to engage in sexual activity regardless of consent. In Maine the age of consent is 16 and it would not be illegal. Obviously if you were to meet in the middle, that state's laws would apply.
With regards to the online stuff, it would most likely be considered a federal crime. She is under 18 and any emails/texts of nude pictures could be considered child pornography. There are also crimes in different states and federally that involve corrupting the morals of a minor that would cover the other stuff as well (conversations for example)
You are talking about engaging in activity that is not just frowned upon, but down right illegal. Tread carefully and both of you should think twice before continuing down this road.
Despite this raising more questions than it provides for answers...DONT DO IT!. Police troll the internet, chat rooms, bulleting boards, et cetera. Due to the age difference it is not worth it. Just saying...
Answers are based upon information provided by the writer. An in-depth response can only be based upon by consulation with a licensed attorney practicing in the area the questions concerns.
Mr. Dressler provides sage advice. I would also point out that even if there is no sex her parents could report you for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Is it even worth dealing with it? No.
This post is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney client relationship with Mr. Cassara.
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