This is because West Virginia has a marital exemption to the West Virginia statutory rape laws. Share on Facebook In West Virginia, it is illegal for an adult someone 18 or older to have sex with a minor who is younger than 18, even if the sex is consensual. Penalties increase when the defendant was 18 or older. Statutory Rape Marital Exemption West Virginia has a marital exemption for statutory rape that allows married people to have consensual sex even if their ages would prohibit it if they were not married. Similarly, no protections are reserved for sexual relations in which one participant is a 15 year old and the second is a 16 or 17 year old.
Sexual assault in the first degree includes intercourse between a victim younger than 12 years old and a defendant who was at least 14 years old and four or more years older than the victim at the time of the crime. The age of consent can vary among states, and some states differentiate between consensual sex between minors who are close in age for example, two teenagers of the same age , as opposed to sex between a minor and a much older adult. The need to ingest the drug and avoid excruciating withdrawal symptoms can compel people to engage in otherwise unimaginable behaviors, like sex work or sex trafficking. Close in age exemptions , commonly known as "Romeo and Juliet laws", are put in place to prevent the prosecution of individuals who engage in consensual sexual activity when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both partners are below the age of consent. Similarly, no protections are reserved for sexual relations in which one participant is a 15 year old and the second is a 16 or 17 year old. Statutory rape laws make minors legally incapable of giving consent to sexual activities. For example, the director of a community service and mental health treatment center told West Virginia Public Radio that some girls and women who revealed that they were confined in basements or raped at gunpoint thought they were in a relationship with their abuser. Sexual assault in the third degree. See a Lawyer If you are facing a statutory rape charge, consider consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney who regularly practices in your area. Penalties increase when the defendant was 18 or older. Statutory rape laws are premised on the assumption that minors are incapable of giving informed consent to sexual activities. Click any charge for more detailed information. Individuals aged 15 or younger in West Virginia are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape. They may argue that the victim herself represented that she was older than she was, and that a reasonable person would have believed her. You can take action here. In the United States, the age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. In the US, for example, about 4, cases of human trafficking were reported in and only traffickers were convicted in Statutory Rape Marital Exemption West Virginia has a marital exemption for statutory rape that allows married people to have consensual sex even if their ages would prohibit it if they were not married. West Virginia statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age 16, so long as the offender is more than 4 years older and not married to the victim. In some cases, however, sex trafficking has gone unreported because the victims did not realize they were being abused in exchange for money. Minors are legally incapable of giving consent to having sex; so for example, if Jen, a 15 year old willingly has sex with Tony, her 23 year old boyfriend, Tony can be charged with rape, since Jen is not legally capable of giving consent in the first place. Statutory Rape and Penalties In West Virginia, statutory rape includes consensual sex between a minor and a defendant who is at least four years older than the minor, and it can also include sexual contact even without penetration under certain circumstances described below. Individuals experiencing opioid addiction often turn to heroin as a cheaper and more easily available form of the drug. Punishments for Violating the Age Of Consent in West Virginia West Virginia has five statutory sexual abuse charges on the books which are used to prosecute age of consent and child abuse related crimes within the state. A lawyer can often negotiate with the prosecutor for a lesser charge or a reduction in penalties such as, for example, probation instead of prison time ; and will know how prosecutors and judges typically handle cases like yours.
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