Tennessee Age of Consent Laws 2021
What is the Tennessee Age of Consent?
The Tennessee Age of Consent is 18 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 17 or younger in Tennessee are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape.
Tennessee statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age 18. A close in age exemption allows teens ages 13-18 to consent to partners less than 4 years older. Punishments differ depending on the ages of victim and offender.
Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee
Tennessee has six 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 Tennessee Age of Consent, as statutory rape or the Tennessee 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.
|Aggravated rape of a child three years or less||Class A felony||Maximum of 60 years in prison and a maximum fine $50,000|
|Aggravated statutory rape||Class D felony||Maximum of 12 years in prison and a maximum fine $5,000|
|Mitigated statutory rape||Class E felony||Maximum of 6 years in prison and a maximum fine $3,000|
|Rape of a child more than three but under 13||Class A felony||Maximum of 60 years in prison and a maximum fine $50,000|
|Statutory rape||Class E felony||Maximum of 6 years in prison and a maximum fine $3,000|
|Statutory rape by an authority figure||Class C felony||Maximum of 15 years in prison and a maximum fine $10,000|