The age of consent is the age when a person can consent to sexual intercourse and sexual contact with another individual over 21 years old.
In Massachusetts, the age of consent is 16 years old. This means minors aged 15 or younger in the state cannot legally consent to sexual activity.
In addition, there is an older law that exists the states 18 years old is an age of consent. However, this only applies if the defendant had sexual intercourse with a virgin under 18 years of age, so this sex crime is rarely prosecuted.
In many states, there is a difference between statutory rape (consensual) and child rape (nonconsensual) charges. However, in Massachusetts, both crimes are considered child rape.
Rape of a child under 16 years of age is a felony offense, punishable by up to a life prison sentence or any amount of jail or prison time. If an adult is at least 10 years older than the minor—who is under 16 years old—then the felony charge carries a mandatory minimum prison term of 10 years.
Keep in mind, Massachusetts does not have any “Romeo and Juliet” laws that protect individuals who engage in consensual sexual activity when both partners are close in age to one another, and when one or both participants are below the age of consent.
If you have been charged with statutory rape in Boston, contact Brad Bailey Law today at (617) 500-0252 and request a free case review.