In the eyes of the law, minors, due to their young age, are not legally capable of giving informed consent to engage in sexual activities.Therefore, it is illegal to have sexual intercourse with a minor even if the minor willingly participates.
Each state has codified this law in one way or another, although it should be noted that the age of consent varies a bit from state to state. Therefore, anyone who has sex with someone who is under 18 (provided that the minor is not their spouse) has broken the law and can be charged with statutory rape.
This is true even if the two individuals are very close in age.
For example, a state might set the age of consent at 18.
In this hypothetical state, two seventeen year olds who had consensual sex could both theoretically be convicted of statutory rape.
So, to answer the question at hand, yes, it is illegal for an 18-year-old to date a 17-year-old in California provided that the term “date” is being used in this context as a euphemism for sexual intercourse and that the couple is not legally married.
California’s Definition of Statutory Rape California’s main statutory rape law (contained in section 261.5 of the California Penal Code) makes it is illegal to have sexual intercourse with a minor (i.e.a person who is less than 18 years old), provided that the minor is not your spouse.This is the case even if the intercourse is consensual.In addition, sexual relations between teachers and students of any age is illegal. Close in age exemptions, commonly known as "Romeo and Juliet laws", are put in place to prevent the prosecution of individuals who engage in consensual sexual activity when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both partners are below the age of consent.Because there is no such "Romeo and Juliet law" in Michigan, it is possible for two individuals both under the age of 16 who willingly engage in intercourse to both be prosecuted for statutory rape, although this is rare.Similarly, no protections are reserved for sexual relations in which one participant is a 15 year old and the second is a 16 or 17 year old.Statutory rape occurs when a person over the age of consent engages in sexual intercourse with someone under the statutory age of consent, also known as a minor.For example, a state might set a minimum age of 14, but limit consent to partners who are within 3 years of their age.This would allow a sixteen year old to lawfully have sex with a fourteen year old, but make it criminal for an eighteen year old to have sex with that same fourteen year old.Albuquerque Rape Crisis Center 24-hour hotline 505-266-7711 Toll free 888-811-8282 Domestic Violence Helpline 505-243-4300 Toll free: 1-877-974-3400 National Domestic Violence Hotline Toll free 800-799-7233 AGORA Crisis Center Hotline 505-277-3013 CYFD Child Abuse Hotline 800-797-3260 DISCLAIMER: This website is provided for informational purposes only.Nothing on this website shall be construed as legal advice nor does the information provided constitute the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.