While most sex offenses require the prosecution to prove that the defendant did not have the alleged victim's consent to engage in sexual activity, that isn't the case with statutory rape. Under North Carolina law, a person under the age of 16 is not capable of providing consent for sexual intercourse. Thus, any sexual act committed with a person under 16 is considered statutory rape.
At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, we have a team of dedicated defense attorneys committed to advocating on behalf of clients charged with serious sex crimes, including statutory rape. We understand the extremely serious nature of these charges, and will do everything possible to ensure your recent arrest has as little impact on your future as possible.What Is Statutory Rape in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, statutory rape refers to sexual activity where one person is under the age of consent, which is 16 years old. Even if the underage individual consents to the sexual activity, it is still considered a crime, as those under the age limit are deemed legally incapable of providing valid consent. North Carolina law categorizes statutory rape offenses based on the age difference between the involved parties.What Are the Types of Statutory Rape Offenses in North Carolina?
North Carolina statutory rape offenses are categorized based on the ages of the defendant and the alleged victim. Below are the most common types of statutory rape crimes in North Carolina:Statutory Rape of a Child by an Adult
- The alleged victim is under the age of 13.
- The defendant is at least 18 years old and at least 4 years older than the victim
- Classified as a Class B1 felony.
The seriousness of this offense depends on on the age difference between the defendant and the victim. For example, if the defendant is at least six years older than the alleged victim, the offense is a Class B1 felony. However, if the defendant is more than four but less than six years older than the alleged victim, the offense is a Class C felony.
Each offense carries distinct legal penalties, with potential consequences including imprisonment, mandatory registration as a sex offender, and other life-changing consequences. Of course, the precise penalties for a conviction depends on the specific details of the offense as well as your criminal history.Does Statutory Rape Only Apply to Sexual Intercourse?
Yes, statutory rape crimes in North Carolina only apply in cases where the government claims the defendant engaged in vaginal intercourse with the alleged victim. However, there are similar offenses for other types of sexual conduct. For example, it is still a Class B1 felony to engage in any sexual act with a victim who is a child under the age of 13 years and the defendant is at least four years older than the victim.Is Lack of Knowledge a Defense to Statutory Rape Charges?
No, statutory rape is a strict liability crime, so a defendant's lack of knowledge about the alleged victim's true age is not a defense.Have You Been Charged with Statutory Rape in North Carolina?
If you or a loved one was recently arrested and charged with statutory rape, don't make the mistake of thinking there is nothing you can do to help your defense. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, we've provided countless clients with effective, custom-tailored representation, helping them overcome the accusations against them and move on with their lives. We take a comprehensive approach to every case we handle, ensuring that we do everything possible to protect your freedom and your future. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with one of our Charlotte criminal defense lawyers, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach our Cabarrus County rape defense attorneys at 704-918-4747. We represent clients in Charlotte, Concord and Kannapolis, as well as throughout Mecklenburg, Gaston, Iredell, Rowan, and Union Counties.