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dkennedy
dkennedy, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 6009
Experience:  J.D. degree, 15 years practice
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How does the law work when it comes to determining guilt if

Resolved Question:

How does the law work when it comes to determining guilt if an adult unknowingly has sex with a minor? Does the court try to determine if you knew she was a minor, if she lied about it, etc, or is guilt automatic in such cases, no excuses? Would the only way to completely protect oneself from criminal charges be to make every girl show her ID before an encounter?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  dkennedy replied 5 years ago.

dkennedy :

Hello,

dkennedy :

I would be glad to help you with this. I see that you are off line. I will do a bit of research and post an answer shortly. Then, you can determine if you have follow up questions.

dkennedy :

As in every other state, it does not really matter whether or not an adult thinks his sex partner is over the age of consent. Many people in prison right now have made that mistake. You said it in jest, but yes, it would be a good idea to check someone's ID. If there is any question at all. Stores do it when they sell liquor and cigarettes and all they have to lose is a license.

Customer:

How could it even be proven that you did actually have sex with that person? What if an underage girl just decides to cause trouble for you and starts telling people you had sex? Is it just their word against mine in a court of law?

Customer:

It just seems like a very strange thing, that people can go to prison over such an abstract crime.

dkennedy :

That's just it. It does have to be proven, but unfortunately, a lot does depend on the minor's word that it happens. If it came to a trial, they would look at whether the two people were actually together at that time, the credibility of the witnesses, and any other evidence they have.

dkennedy :

But, if you think about it, lots of arrests start out with the same thing--someone reports something to the police. The trouble is, it seems horrible to lie about having sex with an adult when so very much is at stake. But, yes, it happens.

dkennedy :

It is important for the accused not to talk to the police about anything. He should not admit or deny anything. Then, talk to a good lawyer if the police want to talk to him.

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