Is it legal to have sex with someone who is 15 years old, and I am 18 years old.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it legal to have sex with someone who is 15 years old, and I am 18 years old.

Hello so a girl and I have been friends for around a year and she wants more than
just be friends. I am 18 years old, and she is 15 years old and we live in South
Carolina. The Age of Consent laws in South Carolina are confusing and I do not
want to make a mistake before we move further into a relationship. I read about
the laws of consent and it says someone who is 14 years or older can consent to
having sex with someone who is 18. But I also read if this happens the 18 year
old can be charged with statutory rape?

Asked on December 27, 2018 under Criminal Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your state does have somewhat confusing laws in this regard, but based on what you write, you would be ok so long as 1) it is mutually consensual and 2) you are not in a position of authority or power over her (not a teacher, not someone with some type or degree of guardianship over her, etc.). The age of consent in SC is indeed 15 so long as the act is consensual for both parties.
That said, don't do this. Suppose that the relationship sours and now she decides to claim it was not fully consensual--do you really want to be in the position of defending yourself against a 15-year-old girl's claims that you took advantage of or abused her? In the "Me, Too" era?

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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