Most experts agree that a person’s brain is not fully developed until about age 25. Because children’s brains are still developing and they have not had the life experience needed to make informed choices about sex, children cannot consent to sexual activities by law. However, the “age of consent,” or age at which a person is considered old enough to consent to sex, varies from state to state. The relationship between the child and the person with whom they have a sexual relationship also affects the legality of the relationship. If you or a loved one has been accused of having sexual relations with someone under the age of consent, you may be arrested and charged with a sex crime.
Sexual Activity With Someone Under the Age of Consent
The age of consent in Connecticut is 16. This means that anyone aged 15 or below is unable to consent to sex in the eyes of the law. Any sexual activity between an adult and someone under 16 may lead to criminal charges and potential jail time. However, there are exceptions to this law. If a child is over age 13 and he or she has a sexual relationship with someone less than four years older than him or her, this may not be considered a crime. For example, a 17-year-old who has a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old is not breaking the law unless there are other unlawful factors such as the use of force. This so-called “Romeo and Juliet” exception exists to protect teenagers from criminal prosecution for having consensual sexual relationships with other teenagers. There are also situations in which having sexual relations with someone over the age of consent may be in violation of Connecticut law. For example, if a person over age 20 in a position of authority such as a coach or teacher has sex with someone under 18, he or she may be charged with statutory rape.
Statutory Rape Laws in Connecticut
Sexual activity between a child under age 13 and a person three or more years older than the child is considered first-degree sexual assault in Connecticut. This Class A felony offense is punishable by fines up to $20,000 and up to 25 years in prison. Sex between a child aged 13 to 15 and someone at least four years older than the child is considered second-degree sexual assault. This is a Class B felony punishable by a maximum fine of $15,000 and up to 20 years’ imprisonment. Non-penetrative sexual activity between a child under 13 and someone more than two years older than the child is a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines. In addition to fines, imprisonment, and other criminal consequences, individuals convicted of sex crimes against children will also need to register as sex offenders....