Rhode Island Age of Consent Laws 2021
What is the Rhode Island Age of Consent?
The Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape.
Rhode Island statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age 16. Close in age exemptions allow teens aged 16 and 17 to engage in sexual congress with teens aged 14 and 14, but not with younger minors. Punishments vary depending on the ages of both parties.
Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island
Rhode Island has three 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 Rhode Island Age of Consent, as statutory rape or the Rhode Island 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 molestation sexual assault- first degree||Felony|
|Child molestation sexual assault- second degree||Felony|
|Sexual assault- third degree||Felony|