Sec 261.5 of the California Penal Code is committed when a person engages in sexual intercourse with an individual under the age of eighteen (18) years. This is commonly called as unlawful sex with a minor.

The following are the elements of the crime of statutory rape:

• A male and a female engaged in an act of sexual intercourse, regardless of penetration, no matter how slight even in the absence of ejaculation;
• The individuals engaged in the act were not married to each other at the time of the offense;
• The alleged victim was under eighteen (18) years of age a the time;

Additional elements that may need to be proven are as follows:

• that the victim and the accused were no more than three (3) years apart in age;
• that the alleged victim and the accused were no more than three (3) years apart in age;
• that the accused was twenty one (21) years of age and the alleged victim was under sixteen (16) years of age;

The following are the imposable penalties for the crime of statutory rape:

• if the accused were no more than three (3) years older than the victim, the offense is considered as a misdemeanor. The penalties are informal probation, imprisonment of up to one (1) year in county jail and payment of fines up to $1,000;
• if the accused is more than three (3) years older than the alleged victim, the offense may be charged either as a felony or a misdemeanor;
• if the accused is twenty one (21) or older and the alleged victim is below sixteen (16), then the crime is either a felony or misdemeanor. The penalties for a felony offense would be probation (either informal or formal), between sixteen (16) months to sixty four (64) months in state prison and/or payment of fines of up to $10,000;

The crime of statutory rape is a serious offense in California. Should you be or know anyone facing any of these charges, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.