However, this age of consent varies widely from state to state.Statutory rape is a strict liability crime, meaning that the consent of the younger person or mistake about their age is not a defense.The following chart provides a quick summary of California's legal age laws.Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a California family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.Federal law makes it criminal to engage in a sexual act with another person who is between the age of 12 and 16 if they are at least four years younger than you.Each state takes a different approach as the age of consent has ranged from 10 to 18.
The age difference between the defendant and the minor is one of the major factors determining how the crime is tried.
In this hypothetical state, two seventeen year olds who had consensual sex could both theoretically be convicted of statutory rape.
Other states imply a different method which, like the federal statute, takes into account the relative ages of both people.
Statutory rape occurs when a person over the age of consent engages in sexual intercourse with someone under the statutory age of consent, also known as a minor.
In most states, the age of consent has been arbitrarily designated by statute.