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Generally speaking, sixteen (16) years old is the age of consent in Kentucky, meaning that anyone under the age of sixteen (16) is deemed, by law, to be incapable of consenting to a sexual act.This does not mean, however, that anyone over the age of sixteen (16) can consent to sex with just anyone else. Simply put, it means that if you (or the other person) are of an age that is outside the legal parameters set by our elected officials when deciding who can/cannot have sex, you could be charged with a crime, and, if convicted, go to jail for a very long time, not to mention having to register as a sex offender.All sexual activity without consent is a criminal offence, regardless of age.These are serious offences that carry serious penalties, including mandatory minimum penalties. In some cases, the age of consent is higher (for example, when there is a relationship of trust, authority or dependency).As of July 14, 2018, it is illegal for sixteen (16) and seventeen (17) year olds – even though they are of the legal age of consent in Kentucky – to engage in sexual acts with those who are more than ten (10) years older than them. There is an exception to consent laws for persons lawfully married to each other. However, as of July 14, 2018, KRS 402.020 is amended so that no one under the age of eighteen (18) years old can legally marry in Kentucky, except that a seventeen (17) year old may petition a district or family court for permission to do so. Even then, this exception is only available to a seventeen (17) year old and another person with an age difference of no more than four (4) years. Consent laws are statutory creations with no regard for anything other than delineated boundaries.
If a person is over 21 and commits either offense, penalties are increased. A person 18 or older having sex with someone between 13 and 16 is guilty of sexual assault. If a person is under 11, a defendant must be at least 14 to prosecute. A person younger than 18 cannot be prosecuted for having sex with someone who is at least 15. A person younger than 21 cannot be prosecuted for having sex with someone who is at least 14. It is illegal for anyone to engage in sexual intercourse with a minor (someone under the age of 18), unless they are that person’s spouse.DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: The age of consent is 16 in the District of Columbia.Unlike some other states, the District of Columbia does not have a separate law for homosexual conduct.It is important to note that none of the above takes into consideration circumstances involving those who are physically helpless, mentally incapacitated, mentally disabled, or those in a position of authority/special trust, as defined by KRS 532.045. If a person is between the ages of 13 and 18, but the other person is within four (4) years, it is not a crime. A person younger than 17 who has sex with someone between the ages of 9 and 17 faces up to a year in prison. Thus, if an adult has sex with a minor below the age of consent, the adult may be charged with statutory rape.When factors such as these are introduced into the equation, the laws become even more complex, and vary from state to state. A person 18 or older having sex with someone between 14 and 16 is guilty of sexual misconduct. Anyone under 18 who is charged must be tried as a juvenile. Having sex with someone between the ages of 13 and 17 if you are within five (5) years age of the other person is punishable by up to a year in prison. An adult who has sex with someone younger than 13 can face life in prison. An adult having sex with a person younger than 14 faces up to life in prison. In Arkansas, a person must be at least 16 years old in order to consent to sex.