Age of Consent Questions for Texas

Q&A on statutory rape laws, age of consent laws, sexual assault laws for Texas. Ask your Question

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how long does someone have to register as an S.O. for ORS 163.435?

:: February 03, 2009 18:49

If someone was convicted of ORS 163.435 and moved to Texas, how long do they have to register for? Or can they be relieved of having to have to register?

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Criminal Procedure, a sex offender may not have to register under certain situations where an appeal is filed in the case, or where a defendant has been pardoned. A sex offender registers with the local law enforcement authority of the municipality (chief of police) where the offender resides. If the offender does not reside in a municipality, the offender registers with the local law enforcement authority of the county (sheriff) where the offender resides. Registration must be completed not later than the seventh day after the date the offender arrives in the municipality or county or the first date the local law enforcement authority of the municipality or county by policy allows the person to register. Once the offender registers with the local law enforcement authority of the municipality or county where the offender resides, that local law enforcement authority becomes the offender’s primary registration authority. If a sex offender resides outside of Texas and works or attends school in Texas, the offender registers with the local law enforcement authority of the municipality or county where the offender works or attends school. If the sex offender’s conviction is a "reportable conviction or adjudication" and the offender resides, works or attends school in Texas. As stated above, "reportable conviction or adjudication" includes a conviction or adjudication of delinquent conduct (juveniles) under the laws of another state for an offense containing elements that are substantially similar to the elements of a Texas offense that requires registration. The Texas Department of Public Safety determines whether an offense under the laws of another state contains elements that are substantially similar to the elements of a Texas offense that requires registration. Title 1 Code of criminal procedure Chapter 62 Sex Offender Registration Program Subchapter A General provisions Article 62.001 defines "Reportable" Any person with a "reportable conviction or adjudication" must register as a sex offender. (5) "Reportable conviction or adjudication" means a conviction or adjudication, including an adjudication of delinquent conduct or a deferred adjudication that, regardless of the pendency of an appeal, is a conviction for or an adjudication for or based on: (A) a violation of Section 21.11 (Indecency with a child), 22.011 (Sexual assault), 22.021 (Aggravated sexual assault), or 25.02 (Prohibited sexual conduct), Penal Code; (B) a violation of Section 43.05 (Compelling prostitution), 43.25 (Sexual performance by a child), or 43.26 (Possession or promotion of child pornography), Penal Code; (C) a violation of Section 20.04(a)(4) (Aggravated kidnapping), Penal Code, if the defendant committed the offense with intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually; (D) a violation of Section 30.02 (Burglary), Penal Code, if the offense or conduct is punishable under Subsection (d) of that section and the actor committed the offense or engaged in the conduct with intent to commit a felony listed in Paragraph (A) or (C); (E) a violation of Section 20.02 (Unlawful restraint), 20.03 (Kidnapping), or 20.04 (Aggravated kidnapping), Penal Code, if, as applicable: (i) the judgment in the case contains an affirmative finding under Article 42.015; or (ii) the order in the hearing or the papers in the case contain an affirmative finding that the victim or intended victim was younger than 17 years of age. (F) the second violation of Section 21.08 (Indecent exposure), Penal Code, but not if the second violation results in a deferred adjudication; (G) an attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation, as defined by Chapter 15, Penal Code, to commit an offense or engage in conduct listed in Paragraph (A), (B), (C), (D), or (E); (H) a violation of the laws of another state, federal law, the laws of a foreign country, or the Uniform Code of Military Justice for or based on the violation of an offense containing elements that are substantially similar to the elements of an offense listed under Paragraph (A), (B), (C), (D), (E), (G), but not if the violation results in a deferred adjudication; (I) the second violation of the laws of another state, federal law, the laws of a foreign country, or the Uniform Code of Military Justice for or based on the violation of an offense containing elements that are substantially similar to the elements of the offense of indecent exposure, but not if the second violation results in a deferred adjudication. The most recent offense added to the list of registerable offenses is Section 33.021 (Online solicitation of a minor), Penal Code. A conviction, deferred adjudication or adjudication of delinquent conduct for this offense requires registration. Further, a conviction under the laws of another state, federal law, the laws of a foreign country, or the Uniform Code of Military Justice for or based on the violation of an offense containing elements that are substantially similar to the elements of Online Solicitation of a Minor will require registration. Source of this information: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/

Is this considered statutory rape in Texas?

:: January 30, 2009 18:11

My friend's 22 and he's seeing this girl who is 14 (soon turning 15). I don't think they've done anything other than kissed, and maybe some serious foreplay... but no anal/vaginal penetration. So my question is 'is it against the law if my friend (22) and this girl (14) are having oral sex and have pretty much done everything EXCEPT penile penetration?' (and I specifically put the words penile penetration because I know for a fact that he has fingered her). So can he just get in trouble for kissing her? Or fingering her? Or for her giving him her oral sex and vice-versa?

Yes, this would be considered "Statutory Rape" in Texas and a "Sexual Offense". What you've described in your question could be considered a felony violation under Texas law and considering the age difference between them is more than three (3) years, the "affirmative defense" claus within this law would not apply to the 22 year old if charged for a sexual offense under Texas penal code Section 21.11 Indecency With a Child. "Sexual contact" with a child younger than 17 years of age is illegal in the state of Texas. Touching a child in a sexual manner, even with the cloths on, could be considered a violation of this law. Please read the law below carefully to clarify this fact especially the highlighted areas of section (c).

Texas Penal (Criminal) Code Sec. 21.11. "Indecency With A Child"

(a) A person commits an offense if, with a child younger than 17 years and not the person's spouse, whether the child is of the same or opposite sex, the person: (1) engages in sexual contact with the child or causes the child to engage in sexual contact; or (2) with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person: (A) exposes the person's anus or any part of the person's genitals, knowing the child is present; or (B) causes the child to expose the child's anus or any part of the child's genitals. (b) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the actor: (1) was not more than three years older than the victim and of the opposite sex; (2) did not use duress, force, or a threat against the victim at the time of the offense; and (3) at the time of the offense: (A) was not required under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, to register for life as a sex offender; or (B) was not a person who under Chapter 62 had a reportable conviction or adjudication for an offense under this section. (c) In this section, "sexual contact" means the following acts, if committed with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person: (1) any touching by a person, including touching through clothing, of the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of a child; or (2) any touching of any part of the body of a child, including touching through clothing, with the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of a person. (d) An offense under Subsection (a)(1) is a felony of the second degree and an offense under Subsection (a)(2) is a felony of the third degree. Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 472, ch. 202, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1981; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 1028, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1415, Sec. 23, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 739, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Source: Texas Legislature website http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/ Texas Statutes - Penal Code Title 5 Offenses Against The Person Chapter 21 Sexual Offenses

17-year-old pregnant by 35-year-old

:: October 10, 2008 15:50

If a 17-year-old becomes pregnant by a 35-year-old, I know that is no longer statutory rape. But what if there are suspicions this 35-year-old had been with her before she turned 17? Maybe at age 16 and possibly as young as age 14. What legal options are available to the parents of the 17-year-old?

In Texas, a 17 year old may consent to sexual intercourse; however, if you feel there was sexual activity prior to the age of 17, it would be in your best interests to gather the facts in your situation, times/dates, history, etc... then make an appointment to speak directly to your District attorney's office. Given the age difference between them, this may be something the District Attorney would want to investigate. If you don't find them to be helpful, the next step would be to contact a local private attorney to be advised of your legal options including child support and custody rights, also to be advised on your city and county laws and policies.

17 year old and 21 year old

:: April 21, 2008 16:24

My daughter has became fond of a 21 year old that was introduced by a friend at school. I do not think they are sexualy active yet but if they were what would my course of actions be? I have told them I do not condone this and really wish he would go and date someone his own age instead of hanging around the girls softball team. Thanks.

A person age 17 may legally consent to sexual activity. At the age of 17, a person can no longer be a victim of statutory rape. In Texas, the statutory rape law is titled 21.11 Indecency with a minor. If a 17 year old moves out of the parent’s home without permission, (i.e. runs away) this is considered a civil infraction and not a criminal offense. Police will not intervene to retrieve the minor and return them to the custody of the parent unless or until a requisition motion is filed in court by the parent to have the minor returned home to their custody. When a requisition motion becomes a court order, the authorities must carry out the order to pick up the minor and return the minor to the custody of the parents. The parent is legally and financially responsible for the minor until the age of 18. The other option would be to terminate parental rights, which releases the parent from legal liability. A minor can petition the court to emancipate under Chapter 13 of the Family Code. This is called “Removal of Disability of a Minor”. The minor must prove to the court that they are self sustained and not reliant on the parents for any assistance financial or otherwise.

Curious! Parents can still file report after I turn 18?

:: April 20, 2008 22:45

I'm an 18 yr old and just recently started dating a 30 yr old that i've known since i was 13. we met through our love for music & worked with eachother for 3 yrs. him being the producer/manager & my sister and i being singers. We've always talked on the phone, spent time together workin & just really clicked with eachother. but due 2 the age difference never said or did anything of it until just recently. well my mom has always had a problem with how close i was with him & now that she found out im actually seein him shes sayin that shes gunna go to the cops & have him arrested for statutory rape because she thinks it has been goin on this whole time because we've always communicated on the phone just abt every night for hours. so as proof shes gettin my phone records. so i was just wondering if she would be able to press statutory rape charges on him now?

This is a tough question. A lot would depend on how compelling your Mom's information is to the police and the District attorney (DA). The age difference is a red flag. Your Mom can't press criminal charges against him. She can only file a police report, or complaint naming him as the party to a crime against her minor child; the police will either open an investigation, or they will drop it. If they do a preliminary investigation and find compelling evidence, the District Attorney may open a case. In Texas, the statutory rape law is called "Indecency with a child" and it falls under the special statute of limitations laws (below) for sexual offenses. "The statute of limitations for certain offenses against minors is a period of 10 years after the victim reaches age 18. If the 30 year old has never had any arrests or allegations of this kind against him and the phone calls and other activities can be explained under his manager/agent status as part of the professional working relationship, he probably won't have anything to worry about. If police ever want to question him, it would be in his best interest to have an attorney present. Your Mom has the right as the parent to make her suspicions known and file a report with police if she believes a crime was committed against her minor child. The statute of limitations for certain offenses against a minor is a period within 10 years after the victim reaches age 18. The offenses included are:

  • Indecency with a child
  • Intentional or knowing sexual assault of a child
  • Intentional or knowing aggravated assault of a child
  • Generally, the statute of limitations for a felony is 3 years after commission of the offense.

can i have sex ?

:: April 18, 2008 05:35

I'am 18 and my girlfriend is 16 can we legally have sex?

No If you are 18 years of age, you can not legally have sex with someone 16 years of age. In Texas, the age a person can no longer be a victim of statutory rape is 17. A person under the age of 17 is not legally capable of consenting to sexual contact.

Help My Sister

:: March 16, 2008 09:15

My sister who is only 14 yrs old went to live with her boyfriend who is 21. I went to talked with them and she said she would not come back home. I told him that my parents would press charges on him but he said that the law will do nothing except lock him up for 2 days. The thing is if my parents press charges we dont want my sister to go back with him when he gets out Is there a way we can stop that from happening? What will happen if we do press charges?

Yes. Your parents can legally assert their parental rights and the 21 year old has absolutely no legal ground to stand on. Below are some very general steps. Your parents will have to adapt these to your local procedures as the actual forms and procedures vary from county to county. They will need to ask some questions and be assertive. 1. File a Police Report: Go to the police "in person" and file a report against the 21 year old. 2. Order of Requisition: In order for enforcement to pick up the 14 year old and bring her back to your parents custody, the parents must first file a request and receive an "order of requisition" from the court to have the minor returned to their custody or to the custody of juvenile authorities. When a child leaves voluntarily, they are not considered a missing child as long as someone knows their wereabouts. 3. Order of protection Ask the court clerk, police, or an attorney for the papers and prodedure to petition the court for an order of protection for the minor. This is also known as a restraining order. When an order of protection is granted, no contact can be made legally between them. If contact is made by either person, no matter who initiates it, the 21 year old will be subject to arrest, a court appearence, and jail time. Any person(s) who aids a minor in such circumstances such as allowing them to live in their home, renting them a room, assisting in transportation, etc. can be held criminally and civilly responsible for contributing to the delinquency of said minor. (TS/TFC Title 2) The 21 year old may be surprised to learn that he can go to jail for quite awhile on these charges. Especially if he is a repeat offender. He is potentially violating several laws based on your description. A child younger than age 17: Is not legally capable of giving consent to sexual contact. Is not legally capable of living outside a parents control or custody without their consent or a court order. The 21 year old may be found in violation of the following. (2 are felony offenses).

  • § 25.04. ENTICING A CHILD
  • § 21.11. INDECENCY WITH A CHILD
  • § 25.06. HARBORING RUNAWAY CHILD
§ 25.04. ENTICING A CHILD.
(a) A person commits an offense if, with the intent to interfere with the lawful custody of a child younger than 18 years, he knowingly entices, persuades, or takes the child from the custody of the parent or guardian or person standing in the stead of the parent or guardian of such child. (b) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor, unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the actor intended to commit a felony against the child, in which event an offense under this section is a felony of the third degree.
§ 21.11. INDECENCY WITH A CHILD.
(a) A person commits an offense if, with a child younger than 17 years and not the person's spouse, whether the child is of the same or opposite sex, the person:
(1) engages in sexual contact with the child or causes the child to engage in sexual contact; or
(2) with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person:
(A) exposes the person's anus or any part of the person's genitals, knowing the child is present; or
(B) causes the child to expose the child's anus or any part of the child's genitals.
(b) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the actor:
(1) was not more than three years older than the victim and of the opposite sex;
(2) did not use duress, force, or a threat against the victim at the time of the offense; and
(3) at the time of the offense:
(A) was not required under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, to register for life as a sex offender; or
(B) was not a person who under Chapter 62 had a reportable conviction or adjudication for an offense under this section.
(c) In this section, "sexual contact" means the following acts, if committed with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person:
(1) any touching by a person, including touching through clothing, of the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of a child; or
(2) any touching of any part of the body of a child, including touching through clothing, with the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of a person.
(d) An offense under Subsection (a)(1) is a felony of the second degree and an offense under Subsection (a)(2) is a felony of the third degree.
§ 25.06. HARBORING RUNAWAY CHILD.
(a) A person commits an offense if he knowingly harbors a child and he is criminally negligent about whether the child:
(1) is younger than 18 years; and
(2) has escaped from the custody of a peace officer, a probation officer, the Texas Youth Council, or a detention facility for children, or is voluntarily absent from the child's home without the consent of the child's parent or guardian for a substantial length of time or without the intent to return.
(b) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the actor was related to the child within the second degree by consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code. (c) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the actor notified:
(1) the person or agency from which the child escaped or a law enforcement agency of the presence of the child within 24 hours after discovering that the child had escaped from custody; or
(2) a law enforcement agency or a person at the child's home of the presence of the child within 24 hours after discovering that the child was voluntarily absent from home without the consent of the child's parent or guardian.
(d) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor. (e) On the receipt of a report from a peace officer, probation officer, the Texas Youth Council, a foster home, or a detention facility for children that a child has escaped its custody or upon receipt of a report from a parent, guardian, conservator, or legal custodian that a child is missing, a law enforcement agency shall immediately enter a record of the child into the National Crime Information Center.
§ 151.001. RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF PARENT.
(a) A parent of a child has the following rights and duties:
(1) the right to have physical possession, to direct the moral and religious training, and to designate the residence of the child;
(2) the duty of care, control, protection, and reasonable discipline of the child;
(3) the duty to support the child, including providing the child with clothing, food, shelter, medical and dental care, and education;
(4) the duty, except when a guardian of the child's estate has been appointed, to manage the estate of the child, including the right as an agent of the child to act in relation to the child's estate if the child's action is required by a state, the United States, or a foreign government;
(5) except as provided by Section 264.0111, the right to the services and earnings of the child;
(6) the right to consent to the child's marriage, enlistment in the armed forces of the United States, medical and dental care, and psychiatric, psychological, and surgical treatment;
(7) the right to represent the child in legal action and to make other decisions of substantial legal significance concerning the child;
(8) the right to receive and give receipt for payments for the support of the child and to hold or disburse funds for the benefit of the child;
(9) the right to inherit from and through the child;
(10) the right to make decisions concerning the child's education; and
(11) any other right or duty existing between a parent and child by virtue of law.
(b) The duty of a parent to support his or her child exists while the child is an unemancipated minor and continues as long as the child is fully enrolled in a secondary school in a program leading toward a high school diploma and complies with attendance requirements described by Section 154.002(a)(2). (c) A parent who fails to discharge the duty of support is liable to a person who provides necessaries to those to whom support is owed. (d) The rights and duties of a parent are subject to:
(1) a court order affecting the rights and duties;
(2) an affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights; and
(3) an affidavit by the parent designating another person or agency to act as managing conservator.
(e) Only the following persons may use corporal punishment for the reasonable discipline of a child:
(1) a parent or grandparent of the child;
(2) a stepparent of the child who has the duty of control and reasonable discipline of the child; and
(3) an individual who is a guardian of the child and who has the duty of control and reasonable discipline of the child.

Teacher Problem

:: February 13, 2008 20:22

What is a university's legal responsibility to a faculty member if a minor levels sexual assualt charges at the faculty? Legally, can the faculty member, who is under contract, be fired when no criminal charges have been filed? When all parties are at the accusation stage?

This would fall under the guidelines of the hiring contract and the termination policies and practices of a university. They may be well within their right to terminate. To determine if a university is justified in terminating a faculty member, the hiring contract should be reviewed by an attorney, along with the documented reasons for termination and the school hiring policies and practices. There is no way to answer this question "generally" as these contracts and policies vary widely from school to school.

Confused about the law

:: January 15, 2008 17:49

My friend has sex with a girl when he was 17 and she was 15. She is pregnant, and threatens him she will throw him in jail if he dose not be with her. He is now 18. So my question is does age count the time of the crime or now? And is it aganist the law if they are 2 years apart?

The age of consent in Texas is 17. A prosecutor will look at the ages at the time the act occured, not the ages now. The 17 year old was at the legal age to consent to sexual contact, but the 15 year old was not. The law states that it is an "affirmative defense" to prosecution if the actor (the 17 year old) was not more than 3 years older, and is the opposite sex, and there was no duress or force used. If he is charged for this violation, it would be in his best interests to speak to his attorney about this affirmative defense. (See the laws below, highlighted portion) There are other issues here that are going to show up soon and will require some legal expertise. Establishing paternity, custody and child support to name a few. He has certain rights and responsibilities as the father and should seek legal advice on these matters. They can become quite complex and very messy if the correct steps aren't taken in the beginning. Information On Establishing Paternity From the Texas Attorney General

Texas Penal Code Title 5 § 21.11. INDECENCY WITH A CHILD.
(a) A person commits an offense if, with a child younger than 17 years and not the person's spouse, whether the child is of the same or opposite sex, the person:           (1) engages in sexual contact with the child or causes the child to engage in sexual contact; or           (2) with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person:     (A) exposes the person's anus or any part of the person's genitals, knowing the child is present; or     (B) causes the child to expose the child's anus or any part of the child's genitals. (b) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the actor:           (1) was not more than three years older than the victim and of the opposite sex;           (2) did not use duress, force, or a threat against the victim at the time of the offense; and           (3) at the time of the offense:     (A) was not required under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, to register for life as a sex offender; or     (B) was not a person who under Chapter 62 had a reportable conviction or adjudication for an offense under this section. (c) In this section, "sexual contact" means the following acts, if committed with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person:           (1) any touching by a person, including touching through clothing, of the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of a child; or           (2) any touching of any part of the body of a child, including touching through clothing, with the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of a person. (d) An offense under Subsection (a)(1) is a felony of the second degree and an offense under Subsection (a)(2) is a felony of the third degree.

2 friends

:: January 13, 2008 17:43

I am 26, and my friend has just turned 17. we grew up together and she has been wanting to date and more, but i wasnt sure if that would be illegal. the reason i ask is her mother all of the sudden has a problem with the idea of us being more than friends. i didnt no if she could do anything legally. my friend doesnt even live with her parents she lives on her own.

In Texas, a person can no longer be a victim of statutory rape upon turning 17 years of age (Texas Penal code 21.11 Indecency with a child); however, the age of majority in Texas is still 18, so legally she is still a minor under her parents authority. Given her independent living situation and depending on whether she is truly self supported or receiving financial assistance from her parents, she can petition the court for status as an adult. This is not something suitable for all teens, but it can be an appropriate step for some. Something she will need to consider is her relationship with her parents. If the relationship is already strained, taking this type of action could strain it even further, as this can be a very sensitive issue for some parents. Under Texas law she is at the legal age to petition the court for "Removal of Disabilities of a minor" if she is self supporting and living apart from her parents. This essentially is a process that emancipates her from minor status and she is given legal rights and accountability as an adult. You will find the statute on this under the Texas Family code Title 2 Child in Relation to the Family - Chapter 31.001-31.007

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