Age restrictions for dating in missouri

However, the judge or the jury must determine that this belief was reasonable.

Missouri Age of Consent Lawyers

Missouri also allows for a legal marriage between the parties to be an affirmative defense. Missouri, like most states, takes the difference in age between the partners into account when determining whether statutory rape has actually occurred. It is legal for a person to have sex with someone who is under the age of consent so long as both parties are at least 14 years old and under 21 years old.

What Is The Legal Age Of Consent In Missouri?

However, if the defendant is 21 years old or older and the victim is under the age of 17, then it is second degree statutory rape or statutory sodomy. If the victim is under the age of 14, then it is first degree statutory rape or statutory sodomy, regardless of how old, or young, the defendant is.

Age of consent reform

Missouri permits life imprisonment sentences to be granted if the victim is younger than 12, serious physical injury was threatened or inflicted, or if there were multiple perpetrators involved. The lightest sentence possible for first degree statutory rape or statutory sodomy is 10 years in prison.


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This table has been compiled from a combination of historical and contemporary sources. By , the first date chosen, many western nations had established an age of consent for the first time, typically of 12 or 13 years.

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By , when the influence of reform campaigns that established a new link between the age of consent and prostitution had run its course, most had revised their age upward, to 14 or 15 in European nations, and 16 in the Anglo-American world. In the last decades of the 20th century, states and nations with ages below those averages amended their laws to move closer to them. Defenses do exist under certain circumstances when the offender made a mistake identifying the victim's age.

Missouri does not have a close-in-age exemption. Close in age exemptions , commonly known as "Romeo and Juliet laws", are put in place to prevent the prosecution of individuals who engage in consensual sexual activity when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both partners are below the age of consent.

Because there is no such "Romeo and Juliet law" in Missouri, it is possible for two individuals both under the age of 17 who willingly engage in intercourse to both be prosecuted for statutory rape , although this is rare. Similarly, no protections are reserved for sexual relations in which one participant is a 16 year old and the second is a 17 or 18 year old. The Age of Consent ranges state-by-state from 16 to 18 years old across the United States.


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