Unlawful Sexual Intercourse
Unlawful sexual intercourse, commonly referred to as
statutory rape or
sex with a minor, is sexual intercourse with a person who is under the age of eighteen,
who is not the spouse of the perpetrator. Unlawful sexual intercourse
is prosecuted in California under Penal Code section 261.5. Sexual intercourse
is defined as any penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or
genitalia by the penis. Ejaculation is not required. Consent by the victim
is not relevant and therefore is not a defense in unlawful sexual intercourse cases.
In California, the crime of unlawful sexual intercourse is prosecuted as
a misdemeanor if the age difference between the perpetrator and the victim
is 3 years or less. If the perpetrator is more than 3 years older than
the victim, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony and will
punished in county jail for up to one year or by a state prison sentence
for up to 3 years. An unlawful sexual intercourse conviction as a misdemeanor
or felony does not require
sex offender registration in California.
If you or someone you know is being investigated or charged with unlawful
sexual intercourse, it is important that you speak with an experienced
criminal defense attorney before talking to law enforcement personnel.