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What Is Statutory Rape in Wisconsin?

 Posted on March 13, 2022 in Criminal Defense

WI defense lawyerSimply put, statutory rape is any sexual activity between an adult 18 years old or older and a minor who is younger than 19 years old. The idea behind this sex offense is that minors are not capable of consenting to sexual activity, so adults should avoid engaging in it with them even if the minor does in fact give consent. That means that in order to get a conviction, the prosecution need not prove any type of force or coercion. Under Wisconsin state law, several distinct crimes fall under the umbrella of statutory rape. A conviction could leave you on the sex offenders’ list, so if you are facing any of these charges, it is very important that you do not wait to find an attorney.

What Offenses Are Considered Types of Statutory Rape?

In Wisconsin, statutory rape is the name given to several different offenses based on the respective ages of the offender and the minor involved. It might be called “Sexual Assault of a Child” or “Sexual Assault of a Minor,” even if there was no real assault involved and the minor agreed to the act. Categories of statutory rape in Wisconsin include:

  • Sexual Assault of a Child in the First Degree - This might be referred to as “child molestation” in more informal settings. It is a Class B Felony that occurs when an adult has sexual contact with a minor who is under 13 years old. It is the most serious offense that falls under the umbrella of statutory rape.
  • Sexual Assault of a Child in the Second Degree - This is a Class C Felony defined as sexual contact between an adult and a minor who is under 16 years old, but at least 13. Elements of coercion are typically assumed in these cases.
  • Misdemeanor Sexual Assault of a Minor in the First Degree - This is the only form of statutory rape that is not a felony - but it is still serious, and you could still become a sex offender. This offense is when an adult has sexual contact with a minor who was at least 16 years old.

What if I Was Close to the Victim’s Age?

In Wisconsin, there is no “Romeo and Juliet” defense. If you are 18 years old, you could be prosecuted for having sexual contact with anyone who is 17 years old or younger. The only exception is if you are legally married to the alleged victim - spouses need not fear prosecution for having consensual sex.

What if I Reasonably Thought the Victim Was an Adult?

This is no defense. Even if the minor lied about their age, even if you met in a 21& over bar or club, even if the minor appears much older than their actual age, you can still be prosecuted and convicted.

Call a Wisconsin Statutory Rape Attorney

If you have been charged with statutory rape, Bucher Law Group, LLC can take on your defense. Our skilled Dodge County statutory rape lawyers will strive to have your charges reduced or eliminated if at all possible. Call 262-303-4916 for a free consultation.




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