Adult dating a minor
In the United States, the age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity.Individuals aged 17 or younger in California are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape.California statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age 18 who is not their spouse.Punishments vary depending on the respective ages of both victim and offender.From the amounts collected for each case, an amount equal to the costs of pursuing the action shall be deposited with the treasurer of the county in which the judgment was entered, and the remainder shall be deposited in the Underage Pregnancy Prevention Fund, which is hereby created in the State Treasury.
(2) The district attorney may bring actions to recover civil penalties pursuant to this subdivision.
(a) Unlawful sexual intercourse is an act of sexualintercourse accomplished with a person who is not the spouse of theperpetrator, if the person is a minor.
For the purposes of thissection, a "minor" is a person under the age of 18 years and an"adult" is a person who is at least 18 years of age.(c) Any person who engages in an act of unlawful sexualintercourse with a minor who is more than three years younger thanthe perpetrator is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony, andshall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding oneyear, or by imprisonment in the state prison.(d) Any person 21 years of age or older who engages in an act ofunlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who is under 16 years of ageis guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony, and shall be punishedby imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or byimprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years.(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, anadult who engages in an act of sexual intercourse with a minor inviolation of this section may be liable for civil penalties in thefollowing amounts:(D) An adult over the age of 21 years who engages in an act ofunlawful sexual intercourse with a minor under 16 years of age isliable for a civil penalty not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars(,000).
Separate crimes exist for sodomy with minors and sexual intercourse between a child under age 14 who's attacker was at least seven years older. Close in age exemptions, commonly known as "Romeo and Juliet laws", are put in place to prevent the prosecution of individuals who engage in consensual sexual activity when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both partners are below the age of consent.
Because there is no such "Romeo and Juliet law" in California, it is possible for two individuals both under the age of 18 who willingly engage in intercourse to both be prosecuted for statutory rape, although this is rare.