Dating someone younger than 18
If the younger partner is 18 or older, he or she is free to date who they please.On the other hand, when it’s someone under the age of 18 and a legal adult, the romantic relationship can be downright illegal and put the older partner at risk of jail or prison, and mandatory sex offender registration.Teens and young adults sometimes aren’t aware of the possible criminal consequences of dating someone underage, attorneys say.What seems like a high school romance can lead to a felony conviction and having to register as a sexual offender.If a minor is 16 or younger, he or she is below the age of consent and cannot legally consent to sexual activity.
Those who register must tell authorities where they live, work and go to school and what vehicle they drive.
Other states have changed their laws to differentiate consensual sex from predatory crimes.
Florida adopted a “Romeo and Juliet” law in 2007, allowing some people to petition the court to forgo registering as a sex offender.
And having nude pictures of a minor is technically possessing child porn.
Less-severe charges were filed last week against four students at Century Middle School in Lakeville, who are accused of using their cellphones to take and send “inappropriate” photos and video of two girls undressing in the locker room. The photos and video spread to more than 40 students at school.
Once the conditions are satisfied, a judge will clear the defendant of the charges and dismiss the case.