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Statutory Rape Accusations in Wisconsin

 Posted on April 29, 2024 in Criminal Defense

WI defense lawyerAccusations of sex crimes are treated very seriously in the state of Wisconsin. One example of a sex crime with severe consequences is statutory rape. If you are accused of this, you could face significant punishments and a reputation that could follow you for years to come. This article will offer some information about what is involved in a statutory rape accusation. If you are charged, speak with an experienced Jefferson County, WI criminal defense attorney to make sure your rights are protected as you navigate your case.

Basic Information on Statutory Rape

Statutory rape is when someone engages in sexual relations with anyone under the legal age of consent, which is 18 in Wisconsin. A defendant can be considered guilty of this crime regardless of their awareness that the other person was underage at the time they had sexual contact. That means the prosecutor does not need to prove whether you even knew how old the alleged victim was. If you were told and believed the other person was 18 years old or older, you still have what is known as strict liability and can be found guilty.

In some states, there is something called a Romeo and Juliet law whereby certain minors are legally permitted to date someone older than 18 years old, but there is no such law in Wisconsin. No person under the age of 18 is legally permitted to engage in sexual activity, with the exception of married couples with at least one spouse younger than that.

What Happens After a Statutory Rape Accusation?

If you are accused of statutory rape, the best thing you can do is find reliable legal representation. Consent alone is not considered sufficient to dismiss any charges, so it does not matter if the other person involved consented to the sexual activity if they were younger than the legal age of consent. You will need to find other ways to build your defense, and a lawyer experienced in defending clients in similar cases can be extremely useful.

Statutory rape is a felony in Wisconsin. The specific severity of a particular charge will depend on the circumstances of the particular incident in question. In general, it is charged as a Class C felony, which can carry a sentence of up to 40 years in jail and up to $100,000, but this can all be escalated if force is involved.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Dodge County, WI Statutory Rape Defense Lawyer

If you are charged with statutory rape, the potential consequences could be staggering. A qualified Racine County, WI defense attorney can make the difference in the outcome of your case. At Bucher Law Group, LLC, our clients’ rights are our top priority, and we will fight hard to make sure they are protected. Call us at 262-303-4916 to schedule a free consultation.

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