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In legal terms, the age of consent refers to the minimum age for which an individual can engage in consensual sexual contact without legal repercussions to either party. When sexual contact occurs when one party is below the age of consent and the other is an adult, according to the law this is statutory rape.


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Statutory rape charges apply even if the minor party agrees to the sexual contact and even if he initiated contact with the adult. The law often allows for a defense or mitigating factor, that is, a circumstance which lessens the severity of the charges, if the adult reasonably believed the minor was actually older than the age of consent.

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The law sometimes intervenes when sexual contact occurs between two minors, even when the activity was consensual. Genarlow Wilson, an honor student and star athlete, was convicted at age 17 in and sentenced to a year sentence for aggravated child molestation because of an incident involving consensual oral sex with a 15 year old girl.

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He refused a plea bargain offered by the prosecution because he would have been labeled as a sex offender and prohibited to live in his family's home with his younger sister. He served more than two years of the sentence before being released in when the Georgia Supreme Court overturned his sentence as being "cruel and unusual" punishment.

Many observers commented that racism played a part in the harsh sentence handed down and the determination of the prosecution to keep Genarlow Wilson in jail, because he was black.


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The law may also intervene when young people become romantically involved, even if no explicit sexual activity takes place. Marco Weiss, a 17 year old German boy, became romantically involved with a 13 year old British girl while they were both on vacation in Turkey. The young couple engaged in kissing and similar activity, but not actual intercourse. When the girl's parents learned about the incident, they filed a complaint with Turkish police, who arrested the boy.

According to Marco Weiss, the girl told him that she was 15, which was the age of consent in Turkey.

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A gynecological examination determined that the girl was a virgin. Nonetheless, he was jailed in for eight months and charged with criminal sexual abuse. References North Dakota State Code: North Dakota Age of Consent Laws. View Singles Near You.

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Underage Dating Laws in Florida. Ohio Laws on Dating Relationships. California Law on Underage Dating. What is Interracial Dating?

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Accessed 19 January There is some opposition to these bills. The legislation gives three notification examples that might be used the legislation does not indicate where on the site safety awareness notices must be placed: Stop communicating with anyone who pressures you for personal or financial information or attempts in any way to trick you into revealing it. Never agree to be picked up at your home.