Kentucky age laws for dating


In Kentucky, the crime of statutory rape is committed by engaging in sexual intercourse with a child under 16 years old (the age of consent). It is also illegal to engage in other sexual activity with a child under age 16 or for a person in a position of trust or authority over a child to engage in sexual contact with a 16 or 17-year-old. In Kentucky, the crime of statutory rape often falls under the state’s rape and sodomy laws. A person who is 18 years old or older commits second degree rape by engaging in sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 14. For statutory rape, the child’s age is the determinative fact. It does not matter if the child agreed to or even initiated the conduct.



§ 510.060 (2017).) For example, an adult coach who has sex with a 17-year-old student athlete could be convicted of third degree rape. Emailing or texting a child to invite the child to engage in sexual conduct can result in a conviction for child enticement, even if nothing sexual ever occurs between the defendant and the child. For example, a 16-year-old who has sex with a 13-year-old could not be prosecuted for second degree rape and, in order to be convicted of third degree rape of a 14 or 15-year-old, the defendant must be 21 years old or older. Otherwise, sexual abuse is punishable by anywhere from 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $250, to up to five years in prison and a fine of $1,000 to $10,000. §§ 510.070, 510.080, 510.090, 510.110, 510.120, 510.130 (2017).) For example, a man who has sexual intercourse with a boy could be convicted of sodomy. Kentucky’s laws against second and third degree rape do not criminalize sexual activity with children over the age of 12 but under the age of 16 if the defendant is close in age to the child. However, in Kentucky, the defendant may raise as a defense to a charge of statutory rape (or a similar crime) against a child under the age of 16 that the defendant did not know that the child was underage. Sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12 is a Class C felony. Named after Shakespeare’s young lovers, “Romeo and Juliet” exceptions protect young people from criminal charges for engaging in consensual sex with other people close to their own age. §§ 510.040, 510.050, 510.060, 510.070, 510.080, 510.090, 510.120, 510.130 (2017).) In most states, it is not a defense to statutory rape that the defendant thought the child was over the age of consent. This defense is part of the marital rape exemption. Rape and sodomy in the third degree are Class D felonies, punishable by one to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. § 510.155 (2017).) Defendants charged with statutory rape have the usual defenses available to all criminal defendants, such as “Someone else committed this crime,” or “The alleged conduct did not occur.” But under Kentucky's laws, there are some other important potential defenses in statutory rape cases. It is also a defense to statutory rape, sodomy, or sexual abuse that the defendant and the child are married at the time of the offense. Rape and sodomy of a child under age 14 are Class C felonies, punishable by five to ten years’ imprisonment and as much as $10,000 in fines. §§ 510.040, 510.050, 510.060, 510.070, 510.080, 510.090, 510.110, 510.120, 510.130, 532.060, 532.090, 534.030, 534.040 (2017).) People who are convicted of sex crimes against minors are required to register as sex offenders in Kentucky unless the defendant is under the age of 18 at the time of the offense. If you are a victim of sexual assault or rape, contact Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) for online help and local resources.



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