Statutory Rape

Young couple on couch

Statutory rape is prohibited by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Sections 22A and 23. "Statutory rape" is sexual intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 16 years old. Unlike what many people believe, statutory rape does not apply to just female victims - it applies equally to male victims. Hence, this is why a female schoolteacher who has sex with a male student under age 16, can also be charged with and convicted of statutory rape. Statutory rape takes away the legal power of consent from the alleged victim: The law makes a "legal presumption" that if the alleged victim is under age 16, then he or she does not possess the legal capacity to consent to sexual intercourse. Thus, if a 15 year-old girl, who objectively appeared to be perhaps 18 or 19, emphasized repeatedly to another person (male or female) that she very much wanted to engage in sexual intercourse with that person, and the two did engage in sexual intercourse, the law presumes that she did not possess the legal capacity to provide consent. Statutory rape is what is known as a "strict liability" crime. This removes the requirement of a particular mental state on the part of the defendant: It doesn't matter if the defendant sincerely believed the victim was of sufficient age (even if the minor showed the defendant a fake ID.) If the victim is under the age of 16, the defendant can be found guilty of this crime. Important: Because statutory rape is a "strict liability" crime, the sincerity of the defendant's' belief as to the alleged victim's age being older than 16, will not free him from a conviction here, as sincere belief that an alleged victim was consenting would prevent a conviction, if the charge were just "rape."

The legislative rationale for this prohibition is that a person under the age of 16 cannot fully comprehend the physical and emotional consequences of engaging in sexual intercourse.

Punishment

Particularly when it comes to sexual offenses involving children, Massachusetts law is very severe. Penalties currently in force provide for sentences up to life in state prison (obviously, depending on the facts of the case and the severity of the evidence.) Regardless, this is a serious charge and District Attorneys' offices prosecute them aggressively.

Who You Choose As Your Attorney Is Critical

Massachusetts statutory rape charges can bring devastating consequences, regardless of whether the sex was consensual or not. A conviction on this charge can result in a lengthy state prison sentence, ruin a person's life, and result in orders for sex offender registration status after release from prison. If you or someone you care about is facing a charge of statutory rape, we know you probably have a hundred questions to ask. Contact us for a free consultation. We can help you decide what, legally, are your best options and defense strategies. You need the best legal defense that can be secured. Do not engage in "guessing games" in hiring a defense lawyer here: These types of charges demand an attorney that is expert-level qualified, and who has defended these cases successfully for many years. If you're facing these kinds of charges, you're at a critical decision point. Make the wrong choice of attorney, and you may find yourself in prison for something you may not be legally guilty of. Don't risk your future. Contact us for a free consultation. We can help you realize what your best legal options are.

If you or someone you care about is in this kind of legal crisis, things are already bad enough. Take control of this situation, or it will take control of you. Contact us for a free consultation. We can provide you with the best, most aggressive legal defense possible.

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When I was arrested for DUI, I was absolutely terrified. Had it not been for you, I might have been convicted of something I was not at all guilty of. My work life, my family life, my reputation, all could have been destroyed. You stood by me like the legal version of a bodyguard - and because of you, I was found not guilty.
★★★★★
When we got the call that our son had been arrested and charged with rape, we almost fainted. We know our son. He is not violent; he has never abused anyone, let alone another girl… If not for you and your "take no prisoners" attitude, our son might have been convicted of a crime that would have sent him to state prison. As far as we're concerned, our son owes you his life, and we owe you the world. We will never forget you.
★★★★★
I hired Mr. William D. Kickham for a very important legal issue and I was extremely satisfied by the results. His in depth knowledge about the matter and his intelligent thinking was extremely beneficial. He is really an expert. He was also very supportive and sensitive towards my concerns. It was great to have a lawyer of his capacity. Thanks William for all the Help.
★★★★★
Atty. Kickham defended me on a charge of raping my girlfriend, who made up the whole story out of revenge because I was interested in someone else. If it weren’t for Attorney Kickham proving me innocent, God knows what might have happened to me.
★★★★★
Mr. Kickham represented me on a trumped-up charge of domestic violence. The prosecutor and police wouldn’t back down, even after my spouse told them it was all untrue. They insisted on taking me to trial, and Mr. Kickham never wavered. He was my legal bodyguard, and I was found not guilty.
★★★★★
Of the many talents Atty. Kickham has, two are these: 1) He is ten times as persuasive as the best lawyer you’ve seen in the movies; and 2) Nothing - but nothing - gets by him. The police arrested me on completely false drug charges, and after a heated courtroom battle, Atty. Kickham won the day. Trust me, it was no surprise.
★★★★★
Because I mildly disciplined my child for throwing a tantrum, I was actually charged with child abuse. It was horrifying. Atty. Kickham fought for me tooth and nail, until I was declared not guilty. One hell of a lawyer.
★★★★★
I complimented a co-worker on her looks and patted her on the back as I did so. Two hours later, the police showed up and accused me of indecent assault & battery. From the day I hired him, Atty. Kickham fought the DA’s office until the charges were dropped. If not for him, my life would have been ruined.
★★★★★

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