But for young people in Arizona, the legal consequences of forbidden sexual activity can be completely life-shattering.Sadly, all it takes to turn a teenage romance into a nightmare that never ends is a single complaint to the police from an angry parent or a jilted boyfriend or girlfriend.Twenty-five states set the age of consent at 16, eight states set it at 17, and Arizona is one of seven states that set the age of consent at 18.This means that any person 17 years old or younger in our state, unless legally married, is considered incapable of agreeing to sexual behavior and therefore any sexual behavior they are engaged in (heterosexual or homosexual) is illegal.That’s why every parent of every Arizona teen must be certain they understand these rather complicated rules and ensure that their children understand and abide by them completely.Age of sexual consent is the age at which a state says a person can agree to engage in sexual activity.Therefore, if anyone of any age, including another 14 year old, engages in sexual activity with someone 14 or younger, charges can be filed.Certainly, anytime non- consensual sexual activity occurs, additional and extremely serious felony sex assault charges will be filed against the offending party. Let’s say an 18 boy meets a precocious girl who appears to be a “safe” 17 years of age. The girl tells her friend who tells her mother who calls the police because she knows the girl to be 15, not 17.
Safe sex saves lives as well as future hopes and dreams.The relevant criminal charge in our state is felony Sexual Misconduct with a Minor, commonly known in other states as statutory rape.Penalties for juvenile sex offenders include incarceration and mandatory enrollment as a sex offender at least until the age of 25. §13-1407, is the Age Difference Defense or the Romeo and Juliet rule.However, if the age difference is greater than 24 months, by even one day, charges can be brought, potentially against both parties.If a 19 year old who is not in high school is involved with a minor of any age, charges can be filed against the older party.