In Massachusetts, the statutory rape laws are extremely harsh. Even consenting partners who both are underage can be prosecuted for statutory rape. This can have devastating consequences that may last a lifetime.
Massachusetts Juvenile Sex Offender Defense
If your child has been charged with statutory rape, it is important to speak with an attorney immediately. It is a mistake to assume that juvenile sex crimes will not be taken seriously by the court. Murphy & Vander Salm LLP represents juveniles charged with a range of sex crimes. We will fight aggressively to protect your child’s rights. To make an appointment with a Worcester statutory rape law attorney, please call 508-425-6330 or contact us online.
Statutory Rape Laws in Massachusetts
Statutory rape (consensual sex) of a child under age 16 is a crime in Massachusetts, regardless of the age of the accused. Adjudication (conviction) as a youthful offender can result in detention. Under Jessica’s Law, there is a 10-year minimum sentence for statutory rape if the child is under age 12 and the defendant is more than five years older, or the child is between ages 12 and 16 and the defendant is more than 10 years older.
In addition to statutory rape, juveniles may be charged with possessing or distributing child pornography for texting, sexting or using social media to distribute sexual content or images of underage teens. Regardless of whether the messages or images are between consenting underage partners, charges may be filed. Simply receiving sexually suggestive text, e-mail or social media messages can result in an arrest. Use of cellphones or the Internet to distribute these messages can result in federal charges with severe penalties.
Conviction of a sex crime can result in registration as a sex offender. An adjudicated youthful offender, a delinquent juvenile by reason of a sex offense or person released from incarceration, parole, probation or custody of the Department of Youth Services may be required to register as a sex offender.