If you live in or around the New York City area, you are aware that sex crime stories are always making their way into the news. Along with this, there are times when a person is accused of such a crime, however, they did not cross the line into criminal territory.
According to FindLaw, the definition of rape is as follows:
"The crime of rape generally refers to non-consensual sexual intercourse that is committed by physical force, threat of injury, or other duress."
The definition alone shows that there is gray area associated with this type of crime. On one side, you may have somebody who believes the relationship is consensual. On the other, a person could feel that he or she are being forced into the act.
Statutory rape is the same in most ways, but different because it refers to intercourse with a person younger than the age of consent. FindLaw noted that "people below the age of consent cannot legally consent to having sex." For this reason, anybody who opts to have sex with that person is violating the law.
Statutory rape laws differ from one state to the next, with each state setting its own age of consent.
Depending on the state and circumstances, statutory rape can be a felony or a misdemeanor. Either way, this is a serious crime that nobody wants to be associated with.
Due to the gray area, as well as varying laws, it is possible to be charged with this crime when no crime was actually committed. With such serious consequences, a person in this position may wish to immediately consult with a criminal law attorney.
Source: FindLaw, "Definition of Rape" Dec. 01, 2014