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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20071
Experience:  Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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Someone I know is 18 and has had sex a couple times with a

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Someone I know is 18 and has had sex a couple times with a 16 year old consensually. He thinks he is protected by the Romeo and Juliet law because he lives in Oregon. The 16 year olds family most likely won't, but in case they do decide to involve the police, should he be concerned? Too his understanding as long as she is 16 and over its a misdemeanor in Oregon, that plus being within the three year age gap he shouldn't have to worry to much.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question. You are correct that the less than 3 year gap in their ages would be a defense to criminal prosecution in Oregon. The age of consent in Oregon is 18 years of age, however, as noted if the minor and the other party are within 3 years of age of each other, the older party would have an affirmative defense under the statute set out below to any charge that might be filed. If the two were more than 3 years apart in age, but the minor was 16 or older, the charge would be "sexual abuse in the third degree" which, as you noted is a misdemeanor (Class A). (see stat. set out below as well) But again, as long as they are within that 3 years, there is an affirmative defense for the 18 year old.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. Thank you

163.345 Age as a defense in certain cases.

(1) In any prosecution under ORS 163.355, 163.365, 163.385, 163.395, 163.415, 163.425, 163.427 or 163.435 in which the
victim’s lack of consent was due solely to incapacity to consent by reason of being less than a specified age, it is a defense that the actor was less than three years older than the victim at the time of the alleged offense.

(2)In any prosecution under ORS 163.408, when the object used to commit the unlawful sexual penetration was the hand or any part thereof of the actor and in which the victim’s lack of consent was due solely to incapacity to consent by reason of being less than a specified age, it is a defense that the actor was less than three years older than the victim at the time of the alleged offense.

(3) In any prosecution under ORS 163.445 in which the victim’s lack of consent was due solely to incapacity to consent by reason of being less than a specified age, it is a defense that the actor was less than three years older than the victim
at the time of the alleged offense if the victim was at least 15 years of age at the time of the alleged offense. [1971 c.743 §108; 1991 c.386 §3; 1991 c.830 §4; 1999 c.626 §24; amendments by 1999 c.626 §45 repealed by 2001 c.884 §1]

163.415 Sexual abuse in the third degree.

(1) A person commits the crime of sexual abuse in the third degree if the person subjects another person to sexual contact and:

(a) The victim does not consent to the sexual contact; or

(b)The victim is incapable of consent by reason of being under 18 years of age.

(2)Sexual abuse in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor. [1971 c.743 §115; 1979 c.489 §1; 1991 c.830 §1; 1995 c.657 §11; 1995 c.671 §9]