Teenage sexuality: The immense complexity of local laws, state lines and international travel

Every country and state has ever changing sex laws with different ages of consent, and Romeo and Juliet (age gap) exemptions. The consequences of travel across state and international borders are of extreme complexity so a team of local experts and international law experts should be consulted. 

Age of consent by state in USA

Near state lines, adolescents need to carry GPS to make sure they are in the right state. When one partner is between 16 and 18 years old, then the location is of primordial importance. If you are an adolescent and think you can go to a more liberal neighboring state to engage in erotic and sexual activity, think twice: US federal law makes it a felony to cross state lines with the intent to have sex with an under 18 year old adolescent.

But, even if you cross between 2 states with age of consent of 16, with intent to have sex with your 17 year old lover, you still run afoul of federal law!? Certainly, if you travel to Europe to have legal sex with a 15 or 16 year old, as a US resident you are committing a felony by US law. If a non-resident European in the US receives his Green card (residency), his hitherto legal relationship in Europe suddenly becomes a felony in the US. Sex law attorneys have a golden future!

Case study: Vermont

Vermont: Age of Consent: 16 Age gap Provision: Yes*

Lewd or Lascivious Conduct with a Child:
No person shall willfully or lewdly commit and lewd or lascivious act upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child under the age of 16 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passion, or sexual desires, of such person. This section shall not apply if the actor is less than 19 years of age, the child is at least 15 years of age, and the contact is consensual.
Adolescent Sexual Behavior and the Law

Legal today, but felony after next birthday

Analyzing Vermont law, one can see

  • If she is 14, he is 18. They have to wait. Not even a lewd act with the body. No touching!
  • On her 15th birthday, they can have sex.
  • Careful! on his 19th birthday, at midnight, what they legally did before, becomes a felony again.
  • After she turns16, they can go back to having sex.

Easy, is it not? just put this into grade school curriculum. It is a good training for reading comprehension of legal codes.

While in Florida

If you are 23 and have a 16 year old girlfriend, beware of your 24th birthday. You will become a criminal!

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