Neal Litherland is an author, blogger and occasional ghostwriter.
Until the late 20th century many states had provisions requiring that the teenage girl must be of previous "chaste character" in order for the sexual conduct to be considered criminal. However, if the offender is 17 years old or younger, has a clean record, and such sexual activity was consensual, Youthful Offender status (a pre-trial diversionary program that seals the court record and results in a dismissal of charges) may be granted. A juvenile offender 13 years old and younger would be charged as a "serious juvenile offender" under C. 2) Intentionally engages in sexual intercourse with another person, and the victim has not yet reached that victim's eighteenth birthday, and the person is 30 years of age or older, except that such intercourse shall not be unlawful if the victim and person are married at the time of such intercourse.
In 1998 Mississippi became the last state to remove this provision from its code. Any juvenile offender 14 years old or older has the case automatically transferred to the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court by operation of law, and thus stands before the court to be tried as an adult. However, in 2009 Senate Bill 185 amended the text of article 768 from anyone under 16 years to anyone under 18 years.
If one person is younger than the age of consent, then any sexual acts, consensual or otherwise, can be considered statutory rape.
There are some establishments that are off limits to people of a certain age.
The age of consent is the law that states individuals (both male and female) have to be a certain age before they can consent to any form of sexual contact.