How Does Georgia Law Define Statutory Rape?
Georgia law has a very specific definition of rape. Under Georgia Code Title 16, a person is guilty of rape “when he has carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will, or a female who is less than 10 years of age.” Any sexual offenses involving two men, two women or anything else that might otherwise be considered rape will be charged and tried as aggravated sodomy or sexual battery in Georgia.
But there is another specific type of rape prosecuted in Georgia, and that is statutory rape. A person may face charges for statutory rape for having sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16, regardless of consent. This is because, in the eyes of the law, a person under the age of 16 cannot legally consent to sex. Thus, the state considers it an act of rape.
Again, there does not have to be an element of force or coercion on the part of the alleged offender. It is merely a person engaging in sexual intercourse with a person under 16. In addition, any other type of sexual activity may still be prosecuted as sexual assault or sexual battery when performed with a person under the age of consent.
A noteworthy exception
There is an exception to this statutory consent rule. Georgia, like other states, has what are called “Romeo and Juliet” laws. Under these laws, if the victim is between 14 and 16 years old and the defendant is either 18 years old or less than four years older than the victim, he or she will only face misdemeanor charges rather than felony charges.
For more information on how Georgia defines and prosecutes certain sex crimes, contact a skilled criminal defense attorney with the Law Offices of Melvin S. Nash. Call the firm at 470.655.2839 or contact us online.