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 until parents can no longer press charges

:: December 08, 2007 22:42

In the state of Texas, it is illegal for a 15 year old girl and an 18 year old boy (3 years and 4 days apart) to have sex. The parents threatened to press charges unless he moves out of the state and will press charges if he comes back. It has been a year and a half and he wants to come back home and continue college. He does not want contact with the girl anymore, just to come home. How long is it in the state of Texas before the parents of the girl can no longer press charges and the boy can come back home without the fear of being charged with statutory rape (which in Texas I believe is considered sexual assault)? I have been told ten years and I have been told two years. And I'm not sure if they have DNA evidence or if just her testimony would be enough evidence to charge him.

Generally, the statute of limitations is 3 years after the commission of the offense; however, the statute of limitations for certain offenses against a minor can be as long as a period of 10 years after the victim reaches the age of 18. These offenses include:

  • Chapter 21.11. Indecency with a child
  • Chapter 22.011. Sexual assault of a child - intentional or knowing
  • Chapter 22.021 Aggravated sexual assault of a child - intentional or knowing .
The above listed are "Felony" violations. Unless or until a specific violation has been identified, it will be difficult to apply the correct statute of limitations law. If he were to be charged with a misdemeanor, the statute of limitations may have already run out. There are several questions that come up with this:
  • At the time of the alleged violation did the parents file a complaint with authorities against the 18 year old?
  • Are there any restraining orders in place?
  • Is there a warrant or an investigation pending?
  • Was this all pre-arranged without intervention from autorities?
This seems like a fairly sensitive situation. If this agreement was arranged by the parents without the benefit of legal intervention, it would be wise for the 18 year old to obtain legal counsel from a Texas attorney on the matter. The parents may not have legal grounds to use the leverage of a "threat of criminal prosectution" to deter him from returning to his home State of Texas. As a matter of self preservation, the benefits vs risk of returning should be discussed confidentially and in great detail with a Texas Attorney.

mad and confused

:: November 03, 2007 23:46

I'm 17 years of age right now and my boyfriend is 24! We have been together since I was 15 and he was 21! Well we have been sexually active since we were first together! When we first got together I lied to him and he found out how old I was! A week after we got together he met my Dad and my Dad told him my age! Both Him and my Mom allowed us to be together this whole time until recently! When both me and my boyfriend got into a car wreck an issue came up and now they think he hits me! Well now my Mom put a restraining order on him and now is threatening to put a statutory rape charge on him! Can she put rape charges on him even though she allowed us to be together for 2 years?Can she do anything to him if I move in with him when im 18??

No matter how angry you are with your parents, if a restraining order (court order) has been issued by a judge against your boyfriend, DO NOT VIOLATE IT. The fastest way for your boyfriend to end up in jail with charges against him is if the court order is violated. Most orders will prohibit telephone and electronic communication, DO NOT TEXT OR EMAIL HIM. A violation of the order gives the judge grounds to find your boyfriend in contempt and he will likely be incarcerated with a fine. Your boyfriend will have a specific amount of time (usually 30-60 days) to contest the restraining order. The order is in full effect during this time. When he is served, he receives instructions on what actions he can take. If he does not contest the order within the stated period of time, the order will stand until it expires or until it is terminated by the court. Parents are legally responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of their children until they turn 18 years of age. If a parent feels their child is in danger or has been put at risk by another individual, it is their legal right and obligation to take the necessary actions within the law to protect their child. It is not up to your parents to determine whether or not charges are filed against your boyfriend. Your parents ultimately have no control over this. Only a criminal prosecutor can determine if criminal charges will be filed against your boyfriend.

Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 12. Limitations Art. 12.01 FELONIES:
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.
Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 12.02. [181] [229] [219] MISDEMEANORS.
An indictment or information for any misdemeanor may be presented within two years from the date of the commission of the offense, and not afterward. Other laws:
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.
Other laws
Texas Penal Code Title 6 Offenses Against the Family Section 25.04 Enticing a child Section 25.06 Harboring a runaway child Section 25.07 Violation of Protective Order or Magistrates order

Statute of Limitations Sexual Offenses in Texas

:: August 21, 2007 15:53

Is there a statute on statutory rape in the state of Texas?

Criminal Prosecutions Citation: Crim. Proc. Code art. 12.01
There is no statute of limitations for sexual assault where DNA evidence is collected and subjected to DNA testing and the testing results show that the matter does not match the victim or any other person whose identity is readily ascertained. The statute of limitations for filing a criminal claim for certain offenses is 10 years after commission of the offense. The offenses included are:
  • All other sexual assaults
  • Injury to a child punishable as a felony of the 1st degree
The statute of limitations for certain offenses is 5 years after commission of the offense. The offenses included are:
  • Kidnapping
  • Injury to a child not punishable as a felony of the 1st degree
  • Abandoning or endangering a 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.
Civil Actions Citation: Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code §§ 16.001; 16.0045
The statute of limitations for certain offenses is a period within 5 years after commission of the offense. The offenses included are:
  • Sexual assault
  • Aggravated sexual assault
The statute of limitations will not begin for a minor entitled to file a claim until he or she reaches 18 years of age.

19 yr. to 16. yr

:: August 08, 2007 13:22

what if a 19 yr. old male born one month before the female and a 16 yr. old female have sex and they tell a pastor... does the pastor have to tell the police if it was told in confidentality?

Yes. According to the law outlined below, members of clergy are among those professionals who are required by law to report this to authorities. The mandatory reporting law includes Texas statute 21.11 "Indecency with a child" which is which essentially, is Texas's statutory rape law. § Click here for PDF document 261.101. PERSONS REQUIRED TO REPORT; TIME TO REPORT. (a) A person having cause to believe that a child's physical or mental health or welfare has been adversely affected by abuse or neglect by any person shall immediately make a report as provided by this subchapter. (b) If a professional has cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected or may be abused or neglected, or that a child is a victim of an offense under Section 21.11, Penal Code, and the professional has cause to believe that the child has been abused as defined by Section 261.001 or 261.401, the professional shall make a report not later than the 48th hour after the hour the professional first suspects that the child has been or may be abused or neglected or is a victim of an offense under Section 21.11, Penal Code. A professional may not delegate to or rely on another person to make the report. In this subsection, "professional" means an individual who is licensed or certified by the state or who is an employee of a facility licensed, certified, or operated by the state and who, in the normal course of official duties or duties for which a license or certification is required, has direct contact with children. The term includes teachers, nurses, doctors, day-care employees, employees of a clinic or health care facility that provides reproductive services, juvenile probation officers, and juvenile detention or correctional officers. (c) The requirement to report under this section applies without exception to an individual whose personal communications may otherwise be privileged, including an attorney, a member of the clergy, a medical practitioner, a social worker, a mental health professional, and an employee of a clinic or health care facility that provides reproductive services. (d) Unless waived in writing by the person making the report, the identity of an individual making a report under this chapter is confidential and may be disclosed only: (1) as provided by Section 261.201; or (2) to a law enforcement officer for the purposes of conducting a criminal investigation of the report.

Do i file charges or file for child support?

:: August 07, 2007 10:23

My 16 year old daughter became pregnant by a 21 year old man. I am told he also got another girl pregnant who is of legal age. I want to know if i file charges on him and my daughter decides to keep the baby can she still get child support from him?

If he is named as the biological father of her child at birth, he will be obligated legally to financially support his child and he will have certain parental rights as the childs father. If he contests the paternity of this child, a court ordered DNA test will follow to make a final determination. If he is arrested for violation of a Texas state law, it does not effect his legal obilgation to support his child financially. It could effect his "ability" to support his child if he is in jail. In the state of Texas, it is a violation of state law for a 21 year old to have sexual intercourse with a 16 year old. If the parent does not report this, any professional in the medical field or in education who has reasonable suspicion that a state law has been violated will by law, have to report this to authorities, Family Services, or the District Attorney according to the procedures established in the state of Texas.

PARENT CONSENT

:: July 17, 2007 21:45

I AM A 19 YEAR OLD FEMALE AND I AM INTERESTED IN A 16 YEAR OLD MALE. I WANTED TO KNOW IF I GOT HIS MOTHER'S CONSENT IN WRITING WILL I BE ABLE TO DATE HIM LEGALLY AND NOT GO TO JAIL. I REALLY AM STARTING TO LIKE THIS YOUNG MAN AND REALLY WANT TO KNOW IF THERE IS ANY WAY WE CAN DATE.

There is no law to prevent a 19 year old from dating a a 16 year old as long as no sexual contact takes place. Texas state law says the age of consent for sexual contact is 17. Parental consent, written or stated, will not over-ride state law in Texas.

19yr old male -16yr old female -no sex of any kind

:: July 15, 2007 00:25

Is it legal for a step-dad that does not claim his step child to press charges on a 19 year old male who is casually seeing the step-daughter who is 16 if the birthday of the male is 8/16/87 and the step-daughter's birthday is 1/22/91? Can anyone at all press charges on the male if the daughter does not want to, being that sex of any kind was never initiated? The male now lives over 300 miles away, and the two still want to be a 'couple.'

Yes, it is legal for the step-dad to file a complaint with police. If any state laws have been violated, it would be up to the prosecuting attorney to determine if charges will be filed. If it's determined through an investigation that there was no sexual contact, no charges would be filed. If it's determined that sexual contact did take place with a minor under the age of 17 and there is more than 3 years (36 months) between the two of you in age, you could be found in violation of 21.11. § 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.

Definition of "Sexual Contact"

:: July 08, 2007 21:38

In texas is it Illegel for an 18yr to DATE a 15yr. if they do not have anykind of sex, oral or otherwise,,, simply kiss and cuddle? being exactly 41 months apart..,,,and what are out limits?

In the state of Texas, 17 years of age is the age at which you are legally capable of consenting to sexual contact. There is no law to prevent you from "dating" as long as, the parents of the minor do not forbid the relationship and there is no sexual contact involved. Sexual contact is defined within the law below in BOLD

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.

Criminal prosecution if 15?

:: July 08, 2007 21:01

If a 19 year old boy and 15 year old female both consent to sex can any criminal prosecution ensue ??

Yes. In the state of Texas, a 15 year old is not legally capable of consenting to sexual contact.

im preg. my boyfriend is three years older than me

:: July 03, 2007 15:10

so, my boyfriend is 20 and i am 17. UI am pregnate. my parents didnt press charges so they say. They said that they state decided to. Is that possible without my parents consent sayin they can? im confused.

Yes. If a state law has been violated, the parents do not have a say as to whether the state will prosecute the case. The state prosecutor evaluates the case and either drops it or files charges based on evidence. The parents are not involved in that decision making process. Generally, where there is a pregnancy involving an underage mother, it can be reported to the prosecutors office by teachers, counselors, medical staff, or any professional who legally must file mandetory reports when they have knowlege of sexual offense violations against minors or children. The parents may not have anything to do with any criminal action taken.

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