Statutory Rape Defense

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What is the Age of Consent in Oklahoma?

The legal age of consent in Oklahoma is 16 years of age. However, the law is more complicated than simply stating, “the age of consent is 16”. Oklahoma, like many states, incorporates a “Romeo and Juliet Rule”, an age difference factor into the law concerning the age of consent for sex. 

What is the Oklahoma Romeo and Juliet Law?

There is a close in age exemption to statutory rape in Oklahoma, which is called the “Romeo and Juliet Law”. This law was implemented to prevent the prosecution of consensual sex between teenagers that are close in age. Sex between a 15-year-old and 17 year old is generally lawful; however, exceptions exist making that sex illegal. 

Statutory Rape in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Statutes Title 21 Section 1111 states rape occurs when the victim is 15 years old or younger. However, the following section, Section 1112 states a person cannot be convicted of rape for consensual sex with someone over 14 years of age, unless the sexual partner is 18 years old or older. Section 1111 states the following are unable to give legal consent to sex:

  • Individual under the age of 16, legal age of consent to sex;
  • Individual incapable of giving legal consent due to temporary or permanent mental illness or an unsound mind;
  • Individual under the legal custody or supervision of a state agency, a federal agency, a county, a municipality or a political subdivision and engages in sexual intercourse with a state, federal, county, municipal or political subdivision employee or an employee of a contractor of the state, the federal government, a county, a municipality or a political subdivision that exercises authority over the victim;
  • Student under the age of 20 cannot give consent to have sex with an employee of the school that is 18 years old or older. 
  • Where the victim between 16 and 18 years old and the perpetrator is responsible for the child’s health, safety or welfare. “Person responsible for a child’s health, safety or welfare” includes but is not limited to the following:
    • a parent,
    • a legal guardian,
    • custodian,
    • a foster parent,
    • a person 18 years old or older with whom the child’s parent cohabitates,
    • any other adult residing in the home of the child,
    • an agent or employee of a public or private residential home, institution, facility or day treatment program, or
    • an owner, operator or employee of a child care facility.

What is Incest in Oklahoma?

Incest is sex between people of the following relationships. Oklahoma Statutes Title 21 Section 885 makes Incest illegal: 

  • Ancestors and descendants of any degree;
  • Stepfather with a stepdaughter;
  • Stepmother with stepson;
  • Uncles and nieces, except in cases where such relationship is only by marriage;
  • Aunts and nephews, except in cases where such relationship is only by marriage;
  • Brothers and sisters of the half as well as the whole blood; and
  • First cousins.

What is the Definition of Consent?

Under Oklahoma law, consent is an affirmative, unambiguous and voluntary engagement in a specific sexual activity during a sexual encounter which can be revoked. Consent cannot be given by a person that is asleep or mentally/physically incapacitated either through drugs, alcohol, or any othr reason. Consent cannot be given by threat or coercion. 

Cannot be inferred under circumstances where consent is unclear, such as failing to say not or stop. 

What is the Legal Dating Age in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma does not have a legal “dating age”. The laws related to consent apply to sexual intercourse, including sodomy, not dating. A person under the age of 16 that “chooses” to have sex cannot legally give consent. A common example is, if a 19-year-old high school student has “consensual sex” with a 15-year-old; the 19-year-old would be guilty of Second Degree Rape under Oklahoma law. 

 

What is the punishment range for Statutory Rape in Oklahoma?

First Degree Rape can include consensual sex (which includes vaginal or anal intercourse or penetration, however slight, by a body part or object) between a minor under the age of 14 and a defendant who is 18 years old or older. Rape in the First Degree is a felony offense is a felony and carries a potential penalty of five years to life in prison. See Oklahoma Statutes Title 21 Sections 1111, 1114, and 1115.

Second Degree Rape can include consensual sex between a minor under the age of 14 and a defendant who is under 18 years of age. It also includes consensual sex between a minor who is 14 or 15 years old and a defendant who is 18 or older. The offense is a felony offense and carries a potential penalty of one year up to 15 years in prison. Oklahoma Statutes Title 21 Sections 1111, 1114, and 1116.

Lewd or Indecent Acts with a Child Younger than 16 includes sexual touching (without penetration) between a minor who is under the age of 16 and a defendant who is at least three years older than the victim. The offense is a felony offense and carries a potential penalty of three years to life in prison. include at least three years in prison. Oklahoma Statutes Title 21 Section 1123. 

The defendant may be charged with First Degree Rape in Oklahoma, if the victim is under the age of 14, which carries five (5) years up to life in prison. Oklahoma statutory rape laws are not specific to gender, i.e. a male or a female can be the victim. 

The length of the relationships and the “consensual nature” means nothing under Oklahoma law. If sex happened, statutory rape happened. These accusations can be the result of an angry significant other or parents that found out about a sexual relationship. 

Sex Offender Registration

A conviction for certain sex crimes, including Statutory Rape, comes with the requirement of registering as a sex offender. This sanction or condition comes in addition to fines, prison, and difficult terms of probation. See Oklahoma Statutes Title 57 Section 582. 

Statutory Rape Legal Defense

Being charged with statutory rape does not mean you will necessarily be convicted of a sex crime in Oklahoma. The prosecution must prove every element of each offense charged, including the victim’s age, the time the alleged sex occurred, and the fact the sexual act occurred. An experienced sex crimes defense lawyer or statutory rape defense lawyer can fight your case through FIERCE ADVOCACY and mitigating circumstances. 

Marriage

Oklahoma has a Marital Exemption to Statutory Rape. The Marital Exemption allows consensual sex between married minors and their adult spouses, even if their ages would otherwise make said relationship a felony in Oklahoma. This rule is a relic of the marital rape exemption, and is found at Oklahoma Statute Title 21 Section 1111. 

Consent is not a Defense

Minors are legally incapable of giving consent to having sex; therefore, if a 15-year-old willingly has sex with a 21-year-old, the 21-year-old can be charged with rape, because the 15-year-old is not legally capable of giving consent. 

Conclusion

Experience matters when you are facing Statutory Rape or any Sex Crimes offense. It is important to know the Oklahoma Statutory Rape Defense Attorney you hire is dedicated to your cause and versed in all aspects of Oklahoma sex crimes law. John Cannon, owner of Cannon & Associates is a former prosecutor and very experienced in the law and issues associated with sex crimes in Oklahoma. He has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and Top 40 under 40 in criminal defense. Contact Cannon & Associates to protect your rights and Fight your case. Complete the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at 405-657-2323 for a free confidential case evaluation.

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