Statutory rape question (LEO input requested)

Sorry, I know it isn’t Rape Month, but my daughter wants to know:

Say you’ve got two high school teachers, both 39-year old women. Sure, they can be from different high schools, if you want. Back last November, each of them began in a sexual relationship with one of her senior students (both of whom were seventeen-year old young men at the time).

So it’s a fine July morning, about two weeks post-graduation. Both teachers are enjoying a little kissy-kissy time in their cars (parked on side streets) with their respective paramours. Unfortunately for both teachers, the streets they have chosen to park on are in neighborhoods known to the local police as areas where motels rent their rooms by the hour. Accordingly, the police tend to be hyper-aware of steamy windows in cars in those neighborhoods.

Both teachers get their windows tapped on; when the police officers note that the participants in the cars appear to be of highly divergent ages, they ask to see some ID. All four of them produce those IDs.

Young man A’s ID shows that he’s three days away from his eighteenth birthday (he will be eighteen in three days, that is; not that his birthday was three days ago). Young man B’s ID shows that he turned eighteen yesterday.

Teacher A and young man A are cited for performing lewd acts in a public place; in addition, Teacher A is arrested for improper sexual contact with a minor. Investigations ensue, and the length and depth (you should pardon the expressions) of her relationship with young man A, and she is booked into the local jail on a charge of misdemeanor child abuse.

Teacher B and young man B are also cited for performing lewd acts in public.

Does an investigation ensue, and is it likely that Teacher B will be charged with offenses similar to those Teacher A is facing?


Need answer fast?

‘it depends’

It will certainly depend on what state or jurisdiction you are talking about, and also how forthcoming those involved are as to talking to the police about what happened and when it started.

If they are smart they will keep their mouths shut until they have legal counsel to protect their rights, unfortunately most people under pressure from the police ‘talk’ without realizing they may be implicating themselves or others.

Would tend to think that the 18 by the time it hits the DA’s desk victim could spend alot of time bitching about not wanting to press charges. Would probably be alot of fun being able to say at trial, "we have been legally having sex for several months, if there was one time a couple days before the magic date, does it really matter now.

These are teachers, so any charges that are persued are more likely aimed at getting these sexual predators out of their jobs instead of actually convicting anyone of statuatory consensual sex. Convictions may not result, depending on the circumstances, but hopefully charges will be pursued long enough to investigate.

Age of consent varies by state.

Some states also specify a higher age of consent for a person in position of authority, such as a teacher.

Usual disclaimer: blah blah blah New Jersey only blah blah no idea about other states blah blah no legal advice blah blah I’m a police officer, not your police officer .

In my state the age of consent it (generally) 16. I won’t go into the other permutations. But one exception is with a student/teacher relationship. Or anyone in a position of authority.

Teacher A would not be looking at a charge of misdemeanor child abuse. Teacher A would be charged with sexual assault. What is known in other jurisdictions as rape.

If evidence is uncovered that Teacher B was engaged in similar conduct prior to the 18th birthday of student B then Teacher B would also be charged with the same offense.

The victim was a juvenile at the time of the offense. The victim has no say, his parents do. Even if the parents are not cooperative the state can go forward with the charges due to the nature of the crime.

A confession is generally not looked upon as an effective defense.

And would your conscience be clear in ruining the teacher’s life for a victimless crime?

You talking to me? My empathy for anyone depends on the circumstances. Teacher fucking a juvenile student? Not feeling it.

In the circumstances of the OP you feel the teacher should have their life ruined? Seriously?

Teachers, don’t fuck your students, isn’t a hard rule to follow or understand. The fact that you don’t see the reason and logic to have such a law is baffling.

I think our age of consent law is pretty logical and relatively liberal AoC is 16. But under 16 there must be a 4 year difference for it to be illegal. Until the age of 12. Hell, even incest isn’t illegal if both are consenting adults. But if you are a teacher you can wield to much power and control over your students. So the law is stricter. You can go fuck other 16 year olds, just not your students. I don’t see that as an unreasonable burden on the teacher. It’s a simple rule really.

The question I think the OP is asking is whether it matters if this happens a day or two before or after the student’s 18th birthday, and should it. I believe it does. I realize nothing magical happens on your 18th birthday, you don’t suddenly gain a bunch of wisdom, but thats how some things work. Some things require a line to be drawn so make sure you’re on the correct side of it.

The OP address the acknowledged shortcomings of all strict limit laws. Does it make any sense at all that I can legally drive 70mph, but at 71mph I am endangering others? Can someone 20 years 364 days old drinking a beer be so much more of a danger to society than that person tomorrow?

No, they are not, but for ease of enforcement, and lack of any alternative way to enforce the law, you will always have this.

You seem to imply that a few days and a few months shouldn’t matter as it’s “close enough” to compliance with the law. But if you allow that the the next time it is 6 or 9 months away, you could say that it was only a few months away from the few months that it would have been okay and continue into infinity…

The OP stated that the sexual relationship begin months prior to when they got caught. The point is the teacher was breaking the law for months. Not that today he isn’t. You get charged with a specific act on a specific day. Unless the statute of limitations are up it doesn’t matter that you are not currently committing a crime. Assuming it can be proven of course.

I said IF counselor :smiley:

As a high school teacher, let me say that teachers having sex WITH STUDENTS is not a victimless crime. I said this here years ago, and let me say it again: maybe in high school, you could have handled having sex with a hot teacher. Maybe you would have never confused it with love, maybe you would have been able to keep your emotional independence, maybe you would have grown from the experience and gone to college a stable, experienced young man ready to show the girls of Kappa Gamma Delta a thing or two about their own bodies. Maybe you were totally ready for that relationship. That’s why no teacher had sex with you. Healthy adults don’t fuck their students. Sexual predators don’t select stable, mature victims. They are looking for something beyond getting an itch scratched, they are looking for control, for emotional interdependence, for drama, for scandal: they are looking for the things that fuck their victims up. So they would never select stable, mature you. They select kids that are needy because their personal lives are fucked up, kids who have no one, kids who hate themselves, kids who wear their hearts on their sleeves. It’s inherently destructive. And while I am sure their are cases of student/teacher banging that managed to be mutually healthy, I am willing to ban those to save the vast majority of such relationships that are not healthy. People capable of such mutually healthy relationships are also capable of forming them with other, more appropriate people, or waiting a few years.

Kinda. Sorta.

Teacher A represents an actual teacher, with whom my daughter was planning to study in the fall. She’s driving herself crazy with questions along the lines of “Couldn’t this whole thing have been avoided if they had waited until Saturday to get caught?”

Avoided as in not getting caught? Possibly. Not any less guilty of the crime.