Statutory Rape Laws [Letter to the Editor]

Teenager’s Jailing Brings a Call to Fix Sex Offender Registries” (front page, July 5), about statutory rape, raises important issues.

In a recent review of a decade of statutory rape cases, I found that both the apparatus to police sexual violence against minors, as well as its application against consenting minors, creates legally untenable results that frequently impose legal and extralegal burdens on minors. …

In many states, sex with a minor is a felony. Ironically, in most of the cases I’ve researched, the teenagers have admitted that their sexual encounters were consensual. These prosecutions represent the overuse of criminal law to address issues often better left to parents. Full Letter to the Editor (NY Times)

The writer is a law professor at the University of California, Irvine.


Teenager’s Jailing Brings a Call to Fix Sex Offender Registries (on CA RSOL Web Site)

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Good letter. In addition to a racial bias to statutory rape cases, there is very certainly a homophobic bias (especially when parents learn their child is LGBTQ).