Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
What a warm greeting. Thank you so much, and thank you for your question.
I believe that I understand the situation, but I hope to avoid making the wrong assumption. How can I help?
That's terrible. How old is your grandson now?
To your knowledge, when was the last time your grandson had sexual contact with his cousin?
Thank you for that clarification. Has either the mother or the cousin reported this to law enforcement yet?
Thank you for that information. Obviously, there are a lot of issues here. What is the main question that I can answer for you?
There is no need to apologize. It can be overwhelming.
When a 19 year old has sexual contact with a 13 year old, it is a felony in Texas. If the parties had sex, it can be prosecuted as rape. The 19 year old would face time in prison and having to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. It can be prosecuted up to 20 years after the child turns 18 years of age. There are certain crimes that are a priority for law enforcement, and statutory rape is a priority, so it will not be simply swept under the rug if they believe that the crime has been committed. The charge is extremely serious and the time to prosecute is extremely long, so "yes", there should be reason for concern. That said, these cases can oftentimes be difficult or impossible to prosecute due to a lack of evidence unless the suspect "cooperates" with law enforcement. For example, the suspect will give their statement to police, who will interview the suspect time and again to look for contradictory statements, or a confession. With the victim's statements and the "help" of the suspect, the prosecution can oftentimes secure a conviction even without other witnesses or DNA evidence.
That doesn't mean that your grandson is necessarily in danger right now. The first thing that any crime suspect needs to do is to stop talking about the alleged event. It should only be discussed with his attorney.
I would strongly recommend that he watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik
The video explains the importance of discontinuing any future contact with law enforcement.
Attorneys can be expensive, but if he is being accused of statutory rape, your grandson cannot afford to go without an attorney. I strongly recommend that he contacts a criminal defense attorney. Hopefully, he will never need to use the attorney, but if he clearly needs advice on how to deal with these allegations and he needs someone who is familiar with his case and who can intervene on short-notice if he is contacted again by law enforcement.
The saying is that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Your grandson is at a critical juncture, and the decisions he makes right now can have a profound impact on his future. I give these recommendations with the hope that he avoids an outcome that is unfair in light of the circumstances.
Does that make sense?
Certainly. I hope that this information was helpful.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).