Written by attorney Luke H. Neuville

What is the Age of Consent in Minnesota?

As a criminal defense attorney in Stearns, Hennepin, and surrounding Minnesota counties, potential clients often ask me specific questions about whether certain behavior or activities may be illegal. Prosecutors in Stearns, Benton, Sherburne, Mille Lacs, Dakota and Hennepin counties frequently file criminal charges against individuals having consensual sexual contact with minor children, commonly known as “statutory rape.”

The “age of consent” is the minimum age at which a person has the legal ability to consent to sexual activity. Generally, the age of consent in Minnesota is 16 years of age. Meaning, except under certain circumstances, any 16-year-old can legally consent to sexual activity with any other consenting person.

However, there are circumstances where consensual sexual activity with someone over 16 years of age is still illegal if the defendant is in a position of authority over the minor--a teacher, parent, coach or priest, for example.

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