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How is 'statutory sexual assault' defined in Pennsylvania?

Most everyone is familiar with the term "statutory rape." It generally means having sex with someone who is considered too young or immature to be able to provide true consent to sexual activity.

Statutory sexual assault laws vary by state. In Pennsylvania, they take into account not only the age of the younger person, but the difference in age between the two people involved in the activity.

Under Pennsylvania law, 16 is considered the age of consent. When the younger of the two people is under 16, statutory sexual assault laws may apply as follows:

-- Teens between 13 and 15 can legally consent to sex with anyone who is no more than four years their senior.

-- Children under 13 cannot legally give consent to sex.

The laws involving age of consent are designed to help ensure that a young person does not feel pressured into sexual activity by a power imbalance created by an age difference. If anyone, whether a volunteer, employee or agent of a school, residential facility or juvenile correctional facility, regardless of age, engages in sex with anyone who is receiving services there, he or she may be charged with a felony.

Often, people find themselves charged with statutory sexual assault because they were not aware of the true age of the other person. Sometimes, the charges are completely unfounded. Whatever the situation, it's essential that you get experienced legal guidance if you or your child is facing this kind of charge. Statutory sexual assault is a charge that can haunt someone for the rest of his or her life.

At The Law Offices of Joseph Lesniak, LLC, we work to anticipate what the prosecution with throw at us and to build a strong defense for our clients. Call us or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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The Law Office of Joseph Lesniak, LLC

The Law Offices of Joseph Lesniak, LLC
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