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Tennessee recognizes different categories of statutory rape

The general term “statutory rape” is often associated with a person having a physical relationship with a minor. However, under Tennessee law, statutory rape is not a single crime. There are several different charges that may originate from the general legal concept of statutory rape and each is charged based in the varying circumstances of the alleged crimes.

For example, mitigated statutory rape occurs when the alleged victim is an older teen of at least 15 years of age and their alleged attacker is 4 or 5 years older than them. An older teen who is allegedly violated by a person who is 5 to 10 years older than them may be considered the victim of a general statutory rape charge.

As readers may be starting to see, the age of the alleged victim and the proximity of age of their alleged attacker can change the type of statutory rape charge that may be alleged. An aggravated charge of statutory rape may be sought if the alleged attacker is more than 10 years the senior of their alleged teenage victim.

Some instances of alleged statutory rape occur in settings where adults and teens are in constant contact, such as at schools and in youth groups. If an adult has a position of authority over the child and is accused of having sexual contact with the youth, they may be charged with statutory rape by an authority figure.

Different sex crime charges have different elements that must be proven in court as well as different possible punishments that may be sought if convictions are secured. It is important that individuals understand the specific charges that they are facing and know what defenses they may have to overcome their alleged crimes. Criminal defense support from knowledgeable attorneys can bring confidence and care to those facing serious sex crime charges.