Dating laws for minors
What seems like a high school romance can lead to a felony conviction and having to register as a sexual offender.
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.
Depending on the situation, the Colorado close-in-age exemption may completely exempt qualifying close-in-age couples from the age of consent law, or merely provide a legal defence that can be used in the event of prosecution. One or more of these charges may be used to prosecute violations of the Colorado Age of Consent, as statutory rape or the Colorado equivalent of that charge.
The severity of the criminal charge (felony, misdemeanor, etc) depends on the specifics of the acts committed and the relative ages of the perpetrator and victim.
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.
Benda pleaded guilty to the charge in November 2012. The charge was dismissed in July 2014 after he successfully completed two years of probation.
Such a legal arrangement is called a stay of adjudication.
Colorado statutory rape law is violated when an individual has sexual intercourse with an individual under age 17.
Close in age exemptions exist allowing 16 and 17 year olds to engage in sexual intercourse with partners who are less than 10 years older, and minors younger than 15 to engage in sexual congress with those less than 4 years older.