By Carlos Gamino

If you’re looking for information on Wisconsin’s Romeo and Juliet laws, you’re not going to find anything saying that it’s okay to have sexual relationships with someone who’s under the age of consent – no such laws exist here.

But can you be charged with statutory rape if your girlfriend is under 18? Here’s what you need to know.

Can You Be Charged With Statutory Rape if Your Girlfriend is Under 18?

In Wisconsin, it doesn’t matter how old you are – anyone can be charged with and convicted of sexual activity with a minor. That’s true even if you’re also a minor. If you’re both 15, for example, you could potentially be charged with crimes if you have  sex with each other – and although it seems odd, you’d both be considered victims and perpetrators.

You also need to know that sex with someone who’s younger than 16 can be a felony, and sex with someone who’s 16 or 17 can be a misdemeanor. The law considers it sexual assault.

  • First-degree sexual assault of a child, which involves a child under the age of 12, is a Class B felony. This crime doesn’t account for the other party’s age – so it doesn’t matter if the older party is 13 or 65.
  • Second-degree sexual assault of a child occurs when the minor is 13 or 14 years old, regardless of the other person’s age, or sexual contact between a minor who’s 15 and a defendant who’s 19 or older.
  • Sexual intercourse with a child 16 or older is when a minor who’s 16 or 17 has sex with a person who’s 19 or older. This is a Class A misdemeanor.
  • Underage sexual activity occurs between people who are between the ages of 15 and 19, or intercourse when someone is 15, 16 or 17 and the other party is under 19.

Most teenagers never get in trouble for having sex with one another, but the law makes it possible.

If you’re 18 and your girlfriend is under 18, you can be charged with a sex crime that requires you to register as a sex offender if you’re convicted.

The bottom line is that the age of consent is 18 in Wisconsin, which means only people over the age of 18 are legally allowed to consent to sex.

What Do You Do if You’re Charged With Statutory Rape?

If you’re charged with statutory rape, your best bet is probably to talk to a sex crime defense attorney. Call us right away at 484-383-6700 to schedule your free consultation right now – we may be able to help you.

Carlos Gamino