Statutory Rape Charge in Massachusetts
If you have been charged with statutory rape, it is likely you are confused and have a number of lingering questions.
Statutory Rape is a crime set forth in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 23.
The first step is to understand the crime and to understand some of the penalties you might be facing.
Massachusetts has a number of strict laws that deals with minors and sexual intercourse. Sometimes referred to as rape of a child, corruption of a minor, or carnal knowledge of a minor, statutory rape and all of the terms related to the crime refers to any and all sexual activities involving a person under the age of 16.What are the penalties for Statutory Rape:
1. A person can be imprisoned up to life for statutory rape; judging according have wide discretion at sentencing in a statutory rape case. A conviction will subject a defendant to Sex Offender Registry requirements.
To convict a person of statutory rape in Massachusetts, prosecutors must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
1 That you had sexual intercourse with the alleged victim. This includes unnatural intercourse
2 That the alleged victim was under the age of sixteen at the time of the event.
These laws are designed solely to protect a minor’s innocence, arguing that any person under the age of sixteen simply does not have the capacity to consent to such sexual behaviors.What types of Punishment might I face if found Guilty of Statutory Rape?
Massachusetts laws surrounding this crime are quite severe. If found guilty of statutory rape for the first time, you could face life in prison. However, the punishment is broad- meaning there are a number of different punishments you could face.
If convicted, you will have a felony charge on your criminal record, and you will have to register as a sex offender in your community. While some individuals charged with this crime do get off on a lighter sentence, they still will be subjected to these harsh penalties.
In short, statutory rape is punishable by any amount of jail or prison time. This means that the judge in your case has a huge amount of discretion when it comes time to sentencing. For this reason and more, contacting an experienced DelSignore Law attorney could prove to be your best option.
Are there any defenses available to my case?
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The only defense to a statutory rape charge is that it did not happen. The most common issue brought up by clients are not defenses though they may be helpful in mitigating the punishment.
What can be used as a defense?
1 The defendant’s age. When the age of the parties is close, some States provide exceptions in their Statutory Rape law; however, Massachusetts does not recognize this defense. Even if the defendant is also a minor, a prosecution can still be brought. In these types of cases, prosecutors may not seek to bring charges but the law would allow for criminal charges in that situation.
2 The age difference: While the age difference is not relevant to whether charges can be brought, it is highly relevant to what sentence the court may impose after a conviction or if the case is to be resolved by plea.
What if you did not know the age of the person?
It is not a defense to a statutory rape charge if the victim lied, you did not know the age of the victim or you thought the victim was older, or even that she looked older. You will be prosecuted regardless of these arguments which are not legal defenses.
What if the minor wanted to have sex?
Consent is not a defense to a statutory rape charge. Someone under the age of 16 cannot legally consent to having sexual intercourse.Contact DelSignore Law for a Free Consultation and for an Explanation of your Rights
Because statutory rape carries stiff penalties and can result in a life-long struggle, you should consider contacting us today. We have successfully handled these types of cases before and would be happy to review the strengths and weaknesses of your case with you. Visit our website to contact us today.
To read more about sex crimes and the punishment of being found guilty of such crimes, or to get a better understanding of the court process after being charged with a criminal matter, head to our website to learn more. Feel free to call or Text Attorney DelSignore any time at 781-686-5924.