Minors having sex

California

Hello,

My 16yrs old step-daughter has recently confessed of engaging in sexual intercourse with 16yrs old boy she has just met for a few weeks. As a concern parent, I and my wife have discuss the issue with her as well as temporary grounding her from any activities with friends, especially prohibiting her from meeting up with the boy. We have not decided whether we will discuss the issue with the boy's parent. My daughter and the boy continue to communicate with each other over the internet and/or on the cell phone. In many occasion, they discuss having him sneak into her room at night while we are asleep. I am planning on talking to the boy explaining that he is prohibited from seeing my daughter and that if he continue to persist and attempt to meet up with her or sneak into her room, then I will contact the local police department to press charges against him. Am I breaking any laws by making this idle threat? What option do we have to prevent the boy from interacting with my daughter?

Thank you in advance to provide with your input and suggestion. Any help would greatly be appreciated.

Probably the most appropriate first step would be for you and your wife (or mother of step daughter) to speak directly to the boy with his parents present. It may not be wise to speak to the boy without his parents involved due to the fact that your daughter will be seen as equally culpable (equally at fault) for the actions both juveniles have taken.

There is no way of knowing how parents will respond to such news so you have to use your best judgment; however, if no one tells them what is going on, they will not have an opportunity to correct the behavior before their son gets into real legal trouble. At least alerting them to the situation will give them the opportunity to correct it, and frankly, it is the adult thing to do. If they don't care or do nothing about it, at least you gave them the opportunity.

In California, sexual contact or intercourse with a minor is a violation of state law even when both parties are juveniles. Generally, there would be NO criminal charges filed, but rather, juvenile charges would be heard through the juvenile court system. Both juveniles could be charged in this situation, as both are the same age and would be seen as equally culpable for the act. This is assuming the sex was consensual. It may be wise to seek the advice of a California attorney who specializes in juvenile law.

State your expectations clearly to both the boyfriend and his parents. This may settle things down quickly. Let them know that both kids are in violation of state laws. Tell them, you will have to report their son to the police if he enters your home or if he has sexual contact with your daughter. If you want the communications over the internet to stop, tell them. Give them an opportunity to deal with it.

It can be difficult to keep your composure in meetings with teens and their parents. Do your absolute best to stay calm; staying calm and controlled will usually keep communication open and free flowing. Remain the “adult”, do not let a teen outburst take you out. Try to keep this meeting between you, your wife, the boy and his parents. You've made your intentions known to your daughter so involving her in this meeting may not have a proactive purpose. Let her know you are going to speak with him and his parents and leave it at that.

It probably would be good to check with the local police department about trespassing laws in your county as a proactive measure. Go talk to the police and give them a hypothetical situation if you don't want to tell them the whole story just yet. Ask them to tell you what the police would do if you reported a minor sneaking into your home at night.

Hopefully somewhere in those suggestions something will click. Good luck and remember, even though the teens may be mad at you now, they will probably thank you in a few years when their chemistry finally changes and the hormones calm down.

Frank