Dating a minor in texas
5, 2015: Samuel Benda, now 21, was charged in 2011 with possession of child pornography for having a nude photo of his 17-year-old high school girlfriend on his cellphone, taken on the night of their prom.
Indecency with a Child is also a lesser included offense of Sexual Assault of a Child, so if you could be charged with Sexual Assault of a Child, you could also be charged with Indecency with a Child.Teens and young adults sometimes aren’t aware of the possible criminal consequences of dating someone underage, attorneys say.What seems like a high school romance can lead to a felony conviction and having to register as a sexual offender.Indecency with a Child is defined in Chapter 21 of the Texas Penal Code at Section 21.11 as follows (the language in brackets will be added effective on September 1, 2017, pursuant to H. 1808, 85th Texas Legislature, Section 3): (a) A person commits an offense if, with a child younger than 17 years of age, [and regardless of whether the person knows the age of the child at the time of the offense,] whether the child is of the same or opposite sex, the person: (1) engages in sexual contact with the child or causes the child to engage in sexual contact; or (2) with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person: (A) exposes the person’s anus or any part of the person’s genitals, knowing the child is present; or (B) causes the child to expose the child’s anus or any part of the child’s genitals.Subsection (a)(1) describes the Indecency by Contact type of Indecency with a Child charge, and subsection (a)(2) describes the Indecency by Exposure type of Inecency with a Child charge.Indecency with a Child is the Texas law that is commonly referred to as “Statutory Rape.” This is the basic age of consent law in Texas, placing the age for consent at 17 years old.
A child under the age of 17 (so that is a 16 year old or below) cannot consent to any sexual acts with an adult, except under a few narrowly defined exceptions.
One main difference is the age of consent for each offense (in the case of indecency with a child, the age of consent is 17 years old, whereas the age of consent is 18 years old for sexual performance).
Indecency with a Child is one of the “Statutory Rape” charges in Texas, the other related law being Sexual Assault of a Child.
A reader asked me what the age of consent is in Texas. Let me begin by stating there is no section of the Texas Penal Code that defines “age of consent.” Rather, you have to begin in the Sexual Assault Provisions of the TPC. Doesn’t that make many high school students felons? Texas has a “Romeo and Juliet” affirmative defense for minors who are within 3 years of age.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person: (2) intentionally or knowingly: (A) causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a child by any means; (B) causes the penetration of the mouth of a child by the sexual organ of the actor; (C) causes the sexual organ of a child to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; (D) causes the anus of a child to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or (E) causes the mouth of a child to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the actor. So performing any of the acitivties under (a)(2)(A)-(E) with anyone under 17 (and not your spouse) is illegal in Texas.
(e) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(2) that: (1) the actor was not more than three years older than the victim and at the time of the offense: (A) was not required under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, to register for life as a sex offender; or (B) was not a person who under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, had a reportable conviction or adjudication for an offense under this section; and (2) the victim: (A) was a child of 14 years of age or older; and (B) was not a person whom the actor was prohibited from marrying or purporting to marry or with whom the actor was prohibited from living under the appearance of being married under Section 25.01. An affirmative defense does not bar arrest and prosecution.