Mississippi Age of Consent Laws 2023
What is the Mississippi Age of Consent?
The Mississippi Age of Consent is 16 years old. In the United States, the age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. Individuals aged 15 or younger in Mississippi are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape.
Mississippi statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age 16 who is not their spouse. A close in age exemption exists when the age gap between the parties is less than 36 months.
Mississippi has a close-in-age exemption. A close in age exemption, also known as "Romeo and Juliet law", is designed to prevent the prosecution of underage couples who engage in consensual sex when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both are below the age of consent.
Depending on the situation, the Mississippi close-in-age exemption may completely exempt qualifying close-in-age couples from the age of consent law, or merely provide a legal defence that can be used in the event of prosecution.
Punishments for Violating the Age Of Consent in Mississippi
Mississippi has two statutory sexual abuse charges on the books which are used to prosecute age of consent and child abuse related crimes within the state. One or more of these charges may be used to prosecute violations of the Mississippi Age of Consent, as statutory rape or the Mississippi equivalent of that charge.
The severity of the criminal charge (felony, misdemeanor, etc) depends on the specifics of the acts committed and the relative ages of the perpetrator and victim. Click any charge for more detailed information.
|Sexual Battery||Court determines sentence; 20 years to life; Sentence not more than 30 years, or fined up to $10,000, or both (up to 40 years for subsequent offense); Sentence of not more than 5 years, fine up to $5,000, or both|
|Statutory Rape||5-30 years based on age of defendant|