How does the age of consent work?

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How does the age of consent work?

From what I am able to determine, the age of consent is currently 16 years old in HI, but it allows for those who are 14 and 15 to consent to someone who is “not less than 5 years older than the minor.” I am confused on the exact meaning of the law. Specifically, is it legal for a male who is 2 weeks away from turning 21 to have sex with a female who is a month and a half away from her turning 16?

Asked on November 17, 2010 under Criminal Law, Hawaii

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The age of consent is a term that generally means the minimum age at which a person is considered legally competent of consenting to sexual acts.  It is NOT the age of majority (18).  It is a hot topic open for debate.  It should not, however, be confused with the legality of a sexual act that might otherwise be considered illegal under the law.  Generally speaking sex with minors is considered one of those instances.  It could even get you charged with rape regardless of her "consent."  It depends on your jurisdiction.  So I would suggest that you reconsider your encounter for the time being (about 2 years or so I would say).


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