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PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorneys

Oklahoma Statutory Rape Laws and the Age of Consent

April 15th, 2010

Under Oklahoma law, sexual intercourse with a person considered legally unable to consent is considered statutory rape.  Oklahoma statutes include the following as unable to give legal consent:

  • Those under the age of 16
  • Those incapable of giving legal consent due to mental illness or unsoundness of mind (temporary or permanent)
  • Those under the supervision or legal custody of a state agency, county, municipality, or political subdivision who engage in sexual activity with an employee or contractor of the authority.  This includes relationships between teachers and students, even if the student is between the ages of 16 and 20.

Commonly, statutory rape occurs when a person under the age of 16 (Oklahoma’s age of consent) becomes involved in a seemingly consensual sexual relationship with a person at least 3 years older who is over the age of 18.  Remember, even if a person under 16 consents to sexual intercourse, the state of Oklahoma deems that person legally unable to give consent.  If a 19-year-old high school senior had “consensual” sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend, he would be guilty of second degree rape under Oklahoma law.  Under Oklahoma sentencing guidelines, he would be subject to up to 15 years in prison and would have to register for life as an aggravated sex offender.

Additionally, if the couple were found to have engaged in oral sex, the young man could be found guilty of forcible oral sodomy, which carries up to a 20-year sentence for the first offense.

If the victim is under the age of 14, the defendant may be charged with first degree rape, which carries a minimum sentence of 5 years in prison.

While the above example describes an older boyfriend and younger girlfriend, Oklahoma statutory rape laws are not specific to gender.  A woman over the age of 18 who has sexual intercourse or oral sex with a boy under the age of 16 is guilty of statutory rape.  The law also applies to same-sex relationships.

Oklahoma statutory rape is a strict liability offense.  This means that, regardless of the intent, if a person over the age of 18 has sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16, he or she is guilty of statutory rape.  Whether the encounter was consensual and whether the couple were in a steady relationship are of no consequence.  If the sex occurred, the statutory rape occurred.

Accusations may come from angry parents or may come from the under-aged partner as a result of a breakup or fear of getting in trouble.  If you have been accused of second degree rape in Oklahoma, knowledgeable legal defense can help you avoid being convicted of a sex crime.  The prosecution must prove not only the victim’s age at the time of the alleged sexual encounter, but must also prove that sexual intercourse occurred.  An Oklahoma statutory rape defense lawyer will look at mitigating circumstances, including prior false accusations, and will place the burden of proof on the prosecution.

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PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorneys