Statutory rape involves sex with a minor, which is criminal and subject to appropriate penalties.
However, the situation sometimes ends up complex due to the fact that statutory rape cases can include couples that are only a couple of years apart or couples in which both members are minors.
Two statutory rape charges
The Virginia Department of Health takes a look at state laws involving statutory rape cases. First, note that penalties often differ depending on the age of the underaged individual.
Two separate statutes exist regarding sexual relations with minors. The first includes minors that are 13 to 14 years of age. The second involves minors who are 15, 16 or 17 years of age.
Sexual relations with a minor in the second category will incur a Class one misdemeanor charge. The penalty for this includes jail time of up to 12 months, a fine of $2,500 or both.
Sexual relations with a minor in the first category will incur a Class four felony. This will result in a prison sentence of between 2 to 10 years, as well as a $100,000 fine.
What if both parties are minors?
In situations where both participants in the sexual relations are minors, the penalty will depend on the age difference. For an age difference of fewer than 3 years, it will incur a Class four misdemeanor charge, resulting in a potential $250 fine.
For an age difference of 3 years or more, it classifies as a Class six misdemeanor. This may result in time in jail, a $2,500 fine or both.