There is no knowledge or intent requirement under this statute hence the standard — strict liability. This strict liability standard can be terribly unfair to the defendant in certain circumstances including a recent client of mine. My client, who was just 19 years old at the time of the offense, rented several connecting hotel rooms one evening to throw a party. My client advised me that he was acutely aware of the danger of having sex with underage girls because a friend of his had recently gone to prison for doing so.
On this night he met a girl who he ended up hanging out with for several hours during the party. My client and the girl had both consumed alcohol but neither were drunk and the State did allege that she was incapacitated when the sexual conduct occurred.
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The girl had advised my client that she was 18 from when he first met her and by her appearance, she could easily pass for that age. Later that evening my client and the girl went into one of the unoccupied rooms. My client and the girl then engaged in consensual sexual intercourse.
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It turned out that this girl was actually 15 years old — 15 years 9 months to be exact. Ultimately, the girl stayed out way past her curfew and, after calling several of her friends, her parents determined her location.
He father went to the hotel and called the police, who knocked on the door. My client answered the door half asleep in his boxers. The girl was still in the room and was in fact in bed and naked.
What Is the Age of Consent for Sex in Maryland?
As long as the age difference between the couple is within three years of each other and the minor is over the age of 14, a sexual relationship will not be considered statutory rape. In Maryland, there are a variety of laws prohibiting sexual activity or contact with minors under a certain age. It does not matter if the child consents to or initiates the sexual activity.
The severity of the criminal charge depends on the specifics of the acts committed and the ages of the perpetrator and victim. For example, statutory rape -- rape in the second degree -- is a felony and punishable by up to 20 years of imprisonment. A second conviction for a crime involving sex with underage children can lead to a lifetime prison sentence.
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Engaging in sexual acts against others without their consent can also lead to charges of sexual assault, assault, or battery. Civil laws can be a factor.
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A law that recently went into effect extends the time limit for filing a civil suit over being sexually abused as a child to 20 years after the victim becomes an adult or four years after the abuser is criminally convicted unless there is the position of "trust". The current limit is seven years after reaching adulthood.
The law went into effect on Oct. In Maryland, people who are convicted of statutory rape and related crimes are required to register as sex offenders for at least 15 years.
Registered offenders must provide personal information to local law enforcement agents every few months. Although Maryland does not impose residency restrictions for sex offenders, sex offender registration can make it difficult, or even impossible, to find a job.
In Maryland, as in most states, the fact that the defendant mistakenly believed the child to be of age is not a defense to statutory rape or a similar crime.