Massachusetts Statutory Rape Laws

Massachusetts

My sister is 15, almost 16, and she's in a relationship with a 20 or 21 year old. I believe that they have sexual intercourse, and I want to know if that would be considered statutory rape. If it is, then what or how long would be the punishment.

Also, my mom would like to know if she could press charges directly to the police even without consulting with my sister.

The age a person can no longer be a victim of statutory rape in Massachusetts is 18. If a 20 year old is involved sexually with a 15 year old, this would be considered statutory rape.

In the state of Massechusetts, it is a violation of state law to "induce" any minor under the age of 18 to have sexual intercourse.

The definition of "Induce" is to lead or move by persuasion or influence, as to some action or state of mind: to bring about, produce, or cause.
Dictionary Source
Retrieved March 17, 2008, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/induce

There are multiple laws regarding sexual contact with minors under the age of 18 and under the age of 16.

A parent is legally accountable and responsible for the welfare, protection and lawful control of their minor children until they reach the age of majority (which is 18). If a minor child is being put at risk by the actions of an adult, (this includes interfering with parental authority, sexual activity, contributing to the minor's delinquency; ie. drinking, smoking, truancy etc...) or if a parent suspects their minor child may be the victim of a criminal act it is the parents right and responsibilty to file a report with authorities against the person putting the minor at risk, even if the minor does not agree or cooperate. The fact is, most teens are not cooperative in these situations and the police and District Attorney anticipate a lack of cooperation.

The parent is not obligated to consult the minor before filing a report with police. This is something only the parent can decide. It may be appropriate, it may not. It really is a judgement call.

Bottom line is, any 20 year old who engages in a sexual relations with any 15 year old does so in violation of Massachusetts state laws.

PART IV. CRIMES, PUNISHMENTS AND PROCEEDINGSIN CRIMINAL CASES
TITLE I. CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS
CHAPTER 272. CRIMES AGAINST CHASTITY, MORALITY, DECENCY AND GOOD ORDER

Chapter 272: Section 4. Inducing person under eighteen to have sexual intercourse

Section 4. Whoever induces any person under 18 years of age of chaste life to have unlawful sexual intercourse shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than three years or in a jail or house of correction for not more than two and one-half years or by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by both such fine and imprisonment.

CHAPTER 272. CRIMES AGAINST CHASTITY, MORALITY, DECENCY AND GOOD ORDER

Chapter 272: Section 18. Fornication

Section 18. Whoever commits fornication shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than three months or by a fine of not more than thirty dollars.

CHAPTER 265. CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON

Chapter 265: Section 23. Rape and abuse of child

Section 23. Whoever unlawfully has sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse, and abuses a child under sixteen years of age shall, for the first offense, be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years, or, except as otherwise provided, for any term in a jail or house of correction, and for the second or subsequent offense by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years, but not less than five years; provided, however, that a prosecution commenced under the provisions of this section shall not be placed on file or continued without a finding.