The “age of consent” is the age at which the law considers someone old enough to be able to give informed consent to sexual activity. This means someone below this age is incapable of giving their consent, and therefore sexual intercourse or other sexual activity with someone below this age is automatically considered to be non-consensual. As a result, any sexual acts involving someone below the age of consent is classified as a “statutory rape” crime.
Knowing the age of consent can help a lot of people avoid possible criminal consequences, particularly teenagers and young adults who may be involved in romantic relationships around these ages. What many people also don’t realize is that the “age of consent” varies from state to state. Let’s take a closer look at Kansas’s laws to help you better understand what they say and how you could be charged for violating this statute.
“Statutory Rape” or “Sex with a Minor?”
According to Kansas criminal law, the age of consent is 16 years old. That means anyone aged 15 and below cannot give legally-recognized consent to sexual activity, and any charges levied due to sexual conduct with someone 15 and below will be considered “statutory rape.” This crime carries much heavier penalties, as it is automatically considered a level 3 felony. If the victim is aged 14 or younger, the perpetrator could face level 1 felony charges, the most serious level in the Kansas justice system.
For those aged 16 to 18, however, they are legally allowed to give consent to sexual activity. However, this does not necessarily make sex with someone this age legal. The only thing this means is that consensual sexual contact or intercourse with someone in this age range cannot be charged as statutory rape. However, it can carry charges of “aggravated indecent liberties with a child,” which is a level 3 felony.
“Romeo & Juliet” Laws
Kansas is a unique state in that they do not have a “close in age” exemption, or what’s more commonly known as a “Romeo and Juliet” law. These laws are essentially designed to protect knowing and consenting teenagers or young adults who wish to engage in consensual sexual activity from criminal prosecution, provided they are within a certain age range of each other.
What this essentially means is even those who are between the ages of 16 and 18 could both be prosecuted for indecent liberties with a child, though this is extremely rare. This also means that a 16 year old could face statutory rape charges for having intercourse with a 15 year old significant other. The charges could even be upgraded to level 1 felony if they have sex with a 14 year old.
Fighting Back Against Statutory Rape
Even if the alleged victim gave their consent at the time, Kansas law dictates that those under the age of consent cannot legally have sexual intercourse with another. The lack of a “close in age” exemption makes these charges extremely difficult to navigate, and could have a lifelong impact on a teenager who may not know any better.
If you find you are facing charges of statutory rape, aggravated indecent liberties with a child, or any other sex crime in which a minor was involved, regardless of whether you are an adult or teenager, you should retain a Kansas City sex crimes lawyer as soon as possible for help navigating the complicated criminal justice system. Rokusek Stein Law, LLC has more than 30 years of combined legal experience they can put to work protecting you and your rights from the harshness of the criminal justice system. We treat you with the respect you deserve and give your case the attention and care you expect from an attorney who has earned such prestigious honors as being selected to Super Lawyers® and being named one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers.
Call Rokusek Stein Law, LLC today by dialing (913) 583-0465; start building your hard-hitting defense with a free consultation!