What to Know About Statutory Rape Charges in Wisconsin
Statutory Rape Charges in Wisconsin are serious – what should you know?
When the term “statutory rape” is heard, most people think of a consensual sexual relationship involving an 18 or 19 year old and a teen who is under 18. There’s a tendency to think it’s no big deal since the sexual activities were consensual and the ages are so close together, but the reality is that any type of sexual activity with a minor could result in statutory rape charges in Wisconsin. Depending on the situation, the of-age adult could face misdemeanor or felony charges and, in any situation, a conviction may require the person to register as a sex offender.
Wisconsin defines statutory rape by age, based on the premise that children under 18 are not capable of giving informed consent. The law further divides statutory rape into three separate categories, based on the minor’s age.
3 Situations That Could Lead to Statutory Rape Charges in Wisconsin
1. Sexual intercourse with a child 16 or older. Sexual intercourse with a child 16 or older is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, regardless of whether the sexual contact was consensual. A conviction at this level carries with it up to $10,000 in fines, up to 9 months in jail, or both. There are exceptions if the minor is married to the of-age partner.
2. Second-degree sexual assault of a child. Any form of sexual contact with a child aged 13 to 15 could lead to charges for second-degree sexual assault of a child. The charge and subsequent conviction are based on the age of the minor at the time of the sexual contact This is a Class C felony that carries penalties of up to $100,000 in fines, 40 years in prison, or some combination of both. Consent is not an issue.
3. First-degree sexual assault of a child. This first-degree charge may occur when there is sexual contact between a minor under 13 years of age and a defendant of any age. This is a Class B felony carrying a penalty of up to 60 years in prison.
Defend Yourself Against Statutory Rape Charges
There are very few ways to get out of statutory rape charges in our state. Claiming that the victim misrepresented his or her age will not assist in having the charge dismissed. Mistake as to age is no defense. The best course of action is to contact an experienced sex crimes attorney at Eisenberg Law Offices in Madison. Our attorneys will ensure you are fairly represented and that you get a chance to tell your side of the story to help secure the best outcome possible.
If you or a loved one are facing statutory rape charges in Wisconsin, call Eisenberg Law Offices at 608-256-8356 or email Info@eisenberglaw.org to arrange a free consultation with a sex crimes attorney.