Persons below the age of consent may not, by law, give consent, and sexual relations involving such persons may be punished by criminal sanctions similar to those for rape or sexual assault.
Non-violent sexual contact with persons under the age of consent may be punished with varying degrees of severity, ranging from a misdemeanor with a simple fine, to a felony with a punishment equivalent to rape. Different ages may apply if one partner is in a position of power or authority over the other, such as a teacher, manager, coach, parent or stepparent. For example, in Indiana the age of consent is 16 but it is illegal for a person over 18 to have sex with anyone under 18 if they work at their school, are their parent or a stepparent, or are a person recruiting them to join the military.
Historically, the age of consent applied to male-female relationships; same-sex relationships were often illegal regardless of the ages of participants. Modern laws vary, and there may be multiple ages that apply in any jurisdiction. For instance, different ages may apply if the relationship is between partners of the same sex, or if the sexual contact is not strictly vaginal intercourse.
Antigua and Barbuda In Antigua and Barbuda , the age of consent is The Sexual Offences Act of raised the age of consent from 14 to 16 years of age. Sexual intercourse with male under sixteen 7. A female adult is not guilty of an offence under subsection 1 — a if she honestly believed that the male person was sixteen years of age or more; or b if the female adult is not more than three years older than the male person and the court is of the opinion that evidence discloses that as between the female adult and the male person, the female adult is not wholly or substantially to blame.
Anguilla United Kingdom The age of consent in Anguilla is Homosexuality was legalized in , but "public homosexuality" is an offense that carries a year jail term without parole. Section 5, part I "Sexual intercourse with person between 14 and 16" of the Sexual Offences Act 1 Where a person has sexual intercourse with another with the other's consent and that other person has attained the age of 14 but has not yet attained the age of 16 that person is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term of 10 years.
A youth of twelve or thirteen can consent to sexual activity with an individual less than two years older than they. A fourteen- or fifteen-year-old can consent to sexual activity with a partner who is less than five years older than they. Section of the Criminal Code of Canada makes it a crime to touch, for a sexual purpose, any person under the age of 16 years.
Section then goes on to prohibit the sexual touching of a person under 18 by a person in three circumstances: The term "position of trust or authority" is not defined in the Code but the courts have ruled that parents, teachers, and medical professionals hold a position of trust or authority towards youth they care for or teach. The "position of trust under 18" anti-exploitation rules were expanded in by Bill C-2 where a judge may choose to term a situation to be sexual exploitation based on the nature and circumstances of the relationship including the age of the younger party, age difference, evolution of the relationship how it developed, e.
This passed before the amendments, and they were not repealed so they are still in effect and can apply towards adults in these situations with young persons over the age of consent and under 18 Where an accused is charged with an offence under s. Anal intercourse in Canada Section of the Criminal Code criminalizes anal intercourse, but provides exceptions for a husband and wife, and any two persons 18 years of age or older.
These exceptions do not apply if a third person is present, or if the anal intercourse takes place anywhere but in private. History of the Canadian age of consent See also: Age of consent reform in Canada During the 19th century, the age of consent for heterosexual vaginal sex was 12; in , the Parliament raised the age of consent to In , a law was enacted that made the "seduction" of a girl over 12 and under 16 "of previously chaste character" a criminal offence; the "seduction" of a female under 18 "under promise of marriage" was also made illegal in , and amended in to apply to females under The new measures still allow for close-in-age exceptions between 12 and Anal sex remains illegal with exceptions for those over 18, if they comply with the restrictions set out under section Female homosexuality was never illegal in the former British colonies; oral sex was legalized in with the same age of consent as vaginal sex.
Also introduced in were the exceptions regarding criminal anal sex effectively legalizing it , but with a higher age barrier set at 21, under section ; in , the age barrier for these exceptions was lowered to As of there are no plans to repeal section , even though it has been ruled unconstitutional in some Canadian provinces. Indecent assaults on females Before prosecution, the public attorney will, if possible, allow the minor to indicate if prosecution is deemed desirable.
The laws of France where applicable apply. Costa Rica See also: Anyone who, taking advantage of age, attempts to obtain or obtains carnal access, by oral, anal or vaginal penetration, to a person of either sex who is over 13 and under 15 years of age, with his or her consent, shall be punished with two to six years' imprisonment. A similar penalty shall be imposed if the act involves the introduction of one or more fingers, objects or animals into the vagina or anus.
The age of consent use to be 15, but it was increase in recent years after a legal reform. Cuba The age of consent in Cuba is Dominica In Dominica the age of consent is Several laws apply to sex with persons aged between 15 and Article makes it illegal to "promote, facilitate, manage, finance, instigate or organize in any way the use of persons under eighteen years of age in sexual or erotic acts individually or organized, publicly or privately".
Similarly, anyone who knowingly authorizes the use or rents a property to perform any of the activities described in the preceding paragraph, incurs criminal liability. Article makes it illegal to "promote or facilitate the corruption of a person under eighteen Article deals with "obscene exhibition", and also appears to set the age of consent at Anyone who performs or makes others perform acts of lewd or lascivious exhibition, or indecency in a public place or a place open to the public or to minors under eighteen years of age or mentally handicapped, shall be punished with imprisonment from two to four years.
Grenada The age of consent in Grenada is Penalties are 30 years' imprisonment if the victim is less than 14, and 15 years' imprisonment if the victim is 14 to 16 years of age. The Law against Sexual Violence, Exploitation, and Trafficking in Persons was passed in February , and provides sentences ranging from 13 to 24 years in prison, depending on the young persons age, for sex with a minor.
The stupor of a person older than fourteen 14 and under eighteen 18 years taking advantage of trust, hierarchy or authority, is punishable by six 6 to eight 8 years of imprisonment. When rape is committed by deception is punishable by five 5 to seven 7 years of imprisonment.
The sexual intercourse with parents or children, brothers, or relationship between adopter and adopted, with stepparent, when the victim is over eighteen 18 years constitutes the crime of incest, will be punished with four 4 to six 6 years of imprisonment and shall proceed under complaint by the injured party or his legal representative.
Whoever for sexual character and by force, intimidation or deceit abducts or retains a person shall be punished by imprisonment of four 4 to six 6 years.
Jamaica In Jamaica the age of consent is The federal law establishes the age of 12 as the minimum age of consent, while the age at which there are no restrictions for consensual sexual activities is 18 sex with someone is not illegal per se, but can still be open to prosecution under certain circumstances. Local state laws may override the federal law.
In practice, the decision as to whether or not to prosecute is left to state authorities regardless of the younger person's age. At state level, the minimum ages of consent vary between 12 and puberty in a few states and 15, while the age at which there are no restrictions for consensual sexual activities vary from 16 to 18 most common For instance the law of Aguascalientes reads: Traditionally, estupro applied only to acts committed with a girl, and required "chastity" or "honesty" of the girl.
The vast majority of Mexican states have modernized their laws by removing the requirement of "chastity" or "honesty" and by making the laws gender neutral. However, traditional laws still exist in some states: Some states have removed the requirement of "chastity" or "honesty", but continue to define estupro as applicable only to girls. For instance, in Campeche the law states: The exact type of coercion that must be used varies by state, for example the Federal Law only makes reference to "deceit", omitting "seduction" it reads: If the offender uses moral or physical violence, an extra half term is added to the initial time.
Article refers to the previous article , which covers the rape of adults in general and establishes a term of 8 to 14 years in prison for sex obtained through physical or moral violence. Article then states that: The 3rd Clause of this article punishes with the same penalties also "the vaginal or anal introduction of objects, without violence and with lascivious goals", in a person under 12 or in a person that has no capacity of understanding the meaning of the fact, or for any reason cannot resist.
If any of the aforementioned acts is performed with physical or moral violence, the sentence is raised in up to a half. A further article, Bis, determines an extra penalty of up to a half under certain circumstances — a when there are multiple offenders; b when the offense is committed by a parent, legal guardian, stepfather or "companion" amasio of the mother; c when there is an abuse of authority of someone as a civil servant ; d when the crime is committed by a person who has the minor under his or her custody , guard or education, or yet through the abuse of trust.
There is another crime in Article for consented sex with adolescents aged 12 to 18, when consent is obtained through deceit. The penalty is 3 months to 4 years in prison.