If you are facing a statutory rape charge, consider consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney who regularly practices in your area.

Statutory rape laws are premised on the assumption that minors are incapable of giving informed consent to sexual activities.

Their incapacity is written into the statute—hence the term, “statutory” rape.

The age of consent can vary among states, and some states differentiate between consensual sex between minors who are close in age (for example, two teenagers of the same age), as opposed to sex between a minor and a much older adult.

Though statutory rape does not require that the prosecutor prove an assault, it is still rape.

In Arkansas, there is a Romeo and Juliet exemption for consensual sex between minors who are close in age; and even when one party is a minor, but the defendant is fewer than seven (or ten) years older than the minor (discussed above).

Defendants accused of statutory rape often claim that they had no reason to know that their partner was underage.They may argue that the victim herself represented that she was older than she was, and that a reasonable person would have believed her.But in Arkansas, even a reasonable mistake as to the victim's age will not be a defense to a charge of statutory rape. The minor must be at the age of consent for sexual contact to take place, which varies from state-to-state but is commonly 16.Some states have added provisions that for adults 21 and over increase the crime from a misdemeanour's to a felony.In Arkansas, it is illegal for an adult (someone 18 or older) to have sex with a minor (someone 14 or younger), even if the sex is consensual.