Age of consent: How old Is old enough for sex?

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Back in 1970 when I was 20, I fell in love with a wonderful 17-year-old girl. Decades later, we're still together, with two adult children and a grandson. Anne and I were lucky that we met in Michigan, where the age of consent, the minimum age for legal lovemaking, was 16. Had we lived in any of the dozen states where it's eighteen, I might have gone to prison for statutory rape.

If you think this never happens, think again. The FBI estimates that U.S. law enforcement agencies annually process some 15,000 statutory rape complaints. More than 95 percent involve cases like Anne's and mine, adult men and minor girls. A small proportion involve abuse or assault, but the vast majority of adult-child sexual liaisons are consensual. In some, the under-age girls are the initiators and pursuers. And sometimes the men wind up in prison:

  • In 2015, an Idaho judge sentenced 21-year-old John Polomo to 14 years for consensual sex with a friend who was 17.
  • In 2008 in Florida, 22-year-old Morris Williams was imprisoned for having consensual sex with Alisha Dean, whose Facebook page said she was 19 when she was actually 13.
  • And in 1997, a Rhode Island judge sentenced 21-year-old Dylan Healy to 12 years for having consensual sex with 13-year-old Heather Kowalski, who ran away from home to live with him, testified in his defense, cried at his sentencing, and swore that when he was released, she would marry him.

In none of these cases did the girls contact police. It was always their parents.

source: Article 'Age of Consent: How Old Is Old Enough for Sex?' by Michael Castleman (M.A.);; Psychology Today; 1 February 2017