Missouri Age of Consent Laws 2021
What is the Missouri Age of Consent?
The Missouri Age of Consent is 17 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 16 or younger in Missouri are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape.
Missouri statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age 17. Defenses do exist under certain circumstances when the offender made a mistake identifying the victim's age.
Missouri does not have a close-in-age exemption. 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 Missouri, it is possible for two individuals both under the age of 17 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 16 year old and the second is a 17 or 18 year old.
Punishments for Violating the Age Of Consent in Missouri
Missouri has ten 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 Missouri Age of Consent, as statutory rape or the Missouri 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.
|Child used in sexual performance||Class B Felony||Imprisonment between 5 years and 15 years|
|Enticement of a child||Felony||Imprisonment of not less than 5 years or more than 30 years|
|Genital mutilation of a female child||Class B Felony||Imprisonment between 5 years and 15 years|
|Promoting sexual performance by a child||Class C Felony||Maximum of 7 years|
|Sexual Abuse||Class B felony||5 to 15 years|
|Sexual trafficking of a child||Felony||Imprisonment for a term of years not less than 10 years or life and a fine not to exceed $250,000|
|Statutory Rape- first degree||Felony||10 years to life; 10 years to life; 5 years to life|
|Statutory Rape- second degree||Class C Felony||Up to 7 years|
|Statutory Sodomy- first degree||Felony||10 years to life; 5 years to life|
|Statutory Sodomy- second degree||Class C Felony||Up to 7 years|