An individual can face statutory rape charges in Louisiana even if his or her alleged victim provides consent. The state’s criminal code outlines several specific circumstances under which a person may face a felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile charge, otherwise known as statutory rape.
According to Title 14, section 80 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes, a person who is seventeen years of age or older may be charged with statutory rape if he or she engages in a sex act with a person between the ages of thirteen years of age and seventeen years of age. The difference between the ages of the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator must be at least four years, and the alleged victim and alleged perpetrator cannot be married to each other.
A person charged with statutory rape may not claim that he or she did not know the age of the victim, as such a defense is not permissible. Statutory rape is a serious sex crime and can, at an early age, brand an alleged perpetrator as a sex offender for the rest of his or her life.
A person facing statutory rape charges can, however, seek the counsel of a criminal defense attorney to help him or her prepare a defense strategy to the pending charges. As many sex crimes carry with them significant penalties including imprisonment, it can serve a person’s interests to be proactive about facing down his or her criminal charges.
As every criminal case is different, this post should only be read as an introduction to statutory rape charges in Louisiana. The law can change, and individuals facing this serious charge may benefit from seeking their own legal representation as they prepare for their trials.