Statutory rape occurs when an individual has sexual intercourse with someone under the legal age of consent. In Tennessee, the law regarding sex with a minor is broken down into three categories based on the age of both the victim and the defendant: mitigated statutory rape, statutory rape and aggravated statutory rape. Regardless of the category, statutory rape laws in Tennessee come down harsh on perpetrators with steep fines, incarceration and the possibility of having to register as a sex offender for a certain period of time.
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Mitigated statutory rape occurs when unlawful sexual penetration takes place between a victim that is at least 15 years old, but less than 18 years old and a defendant that is between four to five years older than the victim. Mitigated statutory rape is considered a Class E felony and is punishable by 1-6 years of incarceration and a fine.
Statutory rape, according to statutory rape laws in Tennessee, occurs when sexual penetration takes place between a victim that is at least 13 years old but less than 15 years old and a defendant that is at least four years older than the victim. This category also applies to victims that are at least 15 years old, but under 18 years old when the defendant is more than five years older than the victim. Statutory rape is considered a Class E felony and is punishable by 1-6 years of incarceration and a fine.
Aggravated statutory rape occurs when sexual penetration takes place between a victim that is at least 13 years old but less than 18 years old and the defendant is at least 10 years older than the victim. Aggravated statutory rape is considered a Class D felony and is punishable by 2-12 years in prison and a fine.
Statutory rape is a very serious crime that bears serious consequences. On top of incarceration and fines, those found guilty of statutory rape may also have to register as sex offenders for a certain period of time, or even the rest of their lives depending on the seriousness of the crime. Registered sex offenders have limited rights and such a designation may affect professional employment, the ability to pursue the career of one’s choice, relationships and the freedom to live and go where one pleases. Punishments and consequences of a statutory rape conviction are severe and depend on the specific nature of the crime you are accused of. A Tennessee criminal attorney will be able to help you better understand the charges that you face and develop an aggressive legal strategy for your defense.
If you have been accused of statutory rape, it is important to contact a Tennessee criminal attorney soon after you are charged so that your attorney has time to evaluate the evidence and develop a strong defense for your situation. At the law offices of Haymaker & Heroux, P.C., we will take the time to listen to your story and prepare a solid legal defense for the specific nature of your case.
Contact our Tennessee criminal attorneys today at 615-651-7476 if you have been accused of statutory rape and need to better understand statutory rape laws in Tennessee.