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In the state of Oklahoma the age of consent is 16 years of age. This means it is illegal for a minor who is 15 years old or younger to have sex with an adult who is 18 years of age or older.
The age of consent is the minimum legal age at which an individual (male or female) has the mental capacity to consent to sexual intercourse with another individual.
There are two exceptions to the age of consent laws in the state of Oklahoma.
If you want to avoid facing charges of statutory rape and labeled as a sex offender for the rest of your life, you should have a clear understanding of EXACTLY how the law is interpreted.
If you are 18 years old or older, you should avoid having sex with anyone younger than yourself.
In the state of Oklahoma, the age of consent is determined by the age difference between the two parties and is limited by a minimum age.
For example, a state may set a minimum age of consent at 14, but limit consent to partners who are within 3 years of their age. This would allow a 16-year-old to lawfully have sex with a 14-year-old, but make it criminal for an 18-year-old to have sex with the same 14-year-old.
In Oklahoma, the age of consent is 16, and the law recognizes an age differential of two years. This means that no person can be convicted of rape or rape by instrumentation with anyone over the age of 14, with that person’s consent, unless the defendant was older than 18 at the time the sexual act occurred. Though statutory rape is a strict liability crime which does not require the prosecutor to prove that an assault occurred, it is still classified as rape under the Oklahoma penal code.
Statutory rape is prosecuted under Oklahoma’s rape and sex crimes laws. Penalties for statutory rape depend on the ages of the defendant and victim, and the conduct that occurred.
For example, charges of second-degree rape would result from consensual sex between a minor who is 14 or 15, and a defendant who is older than 18. Penalties for second degree rape include at least one year (and up to 15 years) in prison. In addition to incarceration, State law requires people convicted of certain sex crimes (including some instances of statutory rape) to register as sex offenders.
In another example, charges of first-degree rape would result from consensual sex between a minor who is younger than 14 and a defendant who is 18 years or older. First-degree rape carries a penalty of at least five years (and up to life) in prison.
Defendants accused of statutory rape often claim they had no reason to know their partner was underage. The defendants may argue that the victims misrepresented their age, and that a reasonable person would have believed such representation.
Even if this is true, Oklahoma does not allow a defendant to rely on a mistake of age to avoid a sex crime conviction for statutory rape. Statutory rape is a strict liability crime, so a malicious intent or a “guilty mind” is not necessary. All that matters is the age of the alleged victim and whether the sexual conduct actually occurred.
If you or a loved one has been charged with rape or statutory rape in Oklahoma you should immediately contact an experienced defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Adam R. Banner, P.C., and retain an accomplished attorney ready to fight for your rights. Call us today at (405) 778-4800 for a free consultation.