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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    Default Unlawful Sexual Intercourse With a Minor, PC 261.5(b)

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: California

    Hello everyone. I am in need of some advice pertaining to California section 261.5(b). This is the law regarding sexual intercourse between a minor and an adult who are within three years of age. The exact wording of the section is:

    "(b) Any person who engages in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who is not more than three years older or three years younger than the perpetrator, is guilty of a misdemeanor."

    I am an 18 year old male and my girlfriend of a few months is a 17 year old female. I am about ten months older than her. We are both in the same senior class in high school. How dangerous, for me from a legal standpoint, is this situation? We have kissed and "made-out" in the past but have never engaged in sex of any kind (oral, anal, vaginal). However, we are talking about trying it (safely, of course, we are both very responsible people and are always respectful of each other's boundaries).

    Is it common for kids like me to actually get convicted for sexual assault crimes when the two parties are so close in age? I understand the law doesn't care at all about whether the minor consented (as minors cannot legally consent), but would that help at all if I were to get in trouble? Can charges in situations like these get "thrown out" (I apologize I don't know the correct wording) in court if she, her parents, and the judge don't feel charging me is necessary? Or is it always mandatory to give some conviction regardless of the circumstances?

    I feel as though it's somewhat ridiculous that I could be charged with the same crime as an irresponsible kid who has non-consensual (say, if the female is drunk, which I do NOT consider consent), unprotected sex with a random person at a party, when in my case this is a mutual, responsible decision I have made with my girlfriend who I have known for a long time. Of course, this means nothing in the eyes of the law, I understand. I am not the kind of person to break laws or disrespect judges, police officers, or anything like that. I would hate to get a criminal record for something which hardly feels criminal.

    Anyhow, any input on my situation would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,098

    Default Re: What is the Extent to Which California 261.5(B) (Unlawful Sexual Intercourse) is

    You're not going to like my input.

    Keep your damned pants zipped until she's 18. Then you won't have to worry about whether you can be charged with a crime or not. You're supposed to be an adult - adults are supposed to be able to control their hormones, not be controlled by them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    2

    Default Re: What is the Extent to Which California 261.5(B) (Unlawful Sexual Intercourse) is

    Quote Quoting cbg
    View Post
    You're not going to like my input.

    Keep your damned pants zipped until she's 18. Then you won't have to worry about whether you can be charged with a crime or not. You're supposed to be an adult - adults are supposed to be able to control their hormones, not be controlled by them.
    No, I do value your input. It's the smart thing to do.

    I do however take offense to your further comments. Does my forum OP seem like something I would say if I were being controlled by my hormones? You seem to be ignoring the fact that I am controlling my hormones, why do you think I haven't had sex? There are constructive ways to communicate advice, and I do value your input, but please avoid unwarranted insults in the future.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,098

    Default Re: What is the Extent to Which California 261.5(B) (Unlawful Sexual Intercourse) is

    Son, if you think that's an insult, you need to grow a thicker skin. It's a simple statement of fact.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,389

    Default Re: What is the Extent to Which California 261.5(B) (Unlawful Sexual Intercourse) is

    Quote Quoting Sojourn
    View Post
    I am an 18 year old male and my girlfriend of a few months is a 17 year old female. I am about ten months older than her. We are both in the same senior class in high school. How dangerous, for me from a legal standpoint, is this situation? We have kissed and "made-out" in the past but have never engaged in sex of any kind (oral, anal, vaginal). However, we are talking about trying it (safely, of course, we are both very responsible people and are always respectful of each other's boundaries).
    Fondling and groping are also criminal. In fact, certain types of fondling or grouping can be considered a felony (and could potentially land you on a sex offender registry) even if sexual intercourse would not.

    Is it common for kids like me to actually get convicted for sexual assault crimes when the two parties are so close in age?
    Common? Compared to what?

    In some counties, they prosecute virtually all of these cases as they come across the DA's desk. In others, no. There is also the question of evidence that mitigates some prosecutions. The presence of a child is often a lock for the prosecution. Lacking a witness to the act, the presence of damning texts or phone messages, alone, are generally not sufficient to support a prosecution.

    I understand the law doesn't care at all about whether the minor consented (as minors cannot legally consent), but would that help at all if I were to get in trouble?
    The issue of "consent" would keep you out of trouble for "rape" but not for the unlawful sex act.

    Can charges in situations like these get "thrown out" (I apologize I don't know the correct wording) in court if she, her parents, and the judge don't feel charging me is necessary? Or is it always mandatory to give some conviction regardless of the circumstances?
    The feelings of the parties involved are irrelevant. Only two opinions matter: The DA's and the court's.

    I feel as though it's somewhat ridiculous that I could be charged with the same crime as an irresponsible kid who has non-consensual (say, if the female is drunk, which I do NOT consider consent), unprotected sex with a random person at a party,
    There is a big difference. PC 261.5 for you would be a misdemeanor not subject to entry into the sex offender registry. Having relations with someone absent their consent or if they were too impaired to give consent is a violent sex crime called "rape" and can land you in prison AND on the registry.

    when in my case this is a mutual, responsible decision I have made with my girlfriend who I have known for a long time. Of course, this means nothing in the eyes of the law, I understand. I am not the kind of person to break laws or disrespect judges, police officers, or anything like that. I would hate to get a criminal record for something which hardly feels criminal.
    To avoid legal trouble, wait until you are BOTH 18.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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