What is the age of Sexual Consent in Kansas?
UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022
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What is the age of Sexual Consent in Kansas?
Is it a crime for a person over the age of 18 say 30 to have sex with a person age 17 in Kansas?
Asked on August 26, 2016 under Criminal Law, Kansas
M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 6 years ago | Contributor
In KS, the legal "age of consent" for sexual activities including sexual intercourse is 16 years old. This means that consent laws deem a person age 16 or older, as able to lawfully consent to sexual acts. There are a total of 31 states that have set their age of consent at 16.
Sex with a minor prior to age 16 is considered "statutory rape." If you are prosecuted for this crime, the only duty of proof is related to age. Statutory rape is considered a level 3 felony. If the victim is 14 or younger, that goes up to a level 1 felony, which could lead to serious prison time in Kansas.
While some states do have Romeo & Juliet laws associated with statutory rape, Kansas is not among them. This means a 16 year old could face statutory rape charges for having sex with a 15 year old. There is no protection for parties who are close in age, but right across the age of consent line.
Can Sex with a 16-Year-Old Still Be a Crime in Kansas?
Sex between a 16-year-old and 30-year-old may not be statutory rape in Kansas, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's legal. It just means it's not classified as one type of rape. Adults having sex with a child under 18 starting at 16 can still be charged with "aggravated indecent liberties with a child," which is also considered a felony.
Because of the lack of Romeo & Juliet laws in Kansas, even a 16-18 year old could be charged with "aggravated indecent liberties with a child" for having sex with a classmate or peer of the same age. Due to the discretion of individual courts and other factors, this is exceedingly rare. The likelihood of being prosecuted for any of these crimes goes up with the age of the other party.
Is Sexting Okay with a 16-Year-Old in Kansas?
Kansas courts consider sexting to be in the same lane in many ways. So even if both partners are teens, they can be arrested for sexts, especially if those include images of one or both parties. Nudes or sexual images of any party under 18 could be considered child pornography.
Does Consent for Marriage Nullify These Laws?
The legal age of marriage in Kansas is 18. Given parental consent or legal guardian consent, a teen could marry as early as 16. Judicial consent drops this age limit to 15.
While you will not be at risk for criminal prosecution for consensual sexual intercourse with your legal spouse, this should not be taken lightly. In recent years, Kansas state officials have considered closing the loopholes to leave the age of marriage at 18 with no age exemptions or other openings. This includes cases with emancipated minors.
What If You Accidentally Had Sex with a Minor?
Statutory rape, by definition, does not require the offending party to be aware of the victim's age. Saying you thought the other party was at the age of consent is not a valid defense. If you're concerned about a possible case, the best thing to do is talk to a criminal defense attorney.
They can explore your options and do some research before the police get involved. When statutory rape is pursued, defendants are considered sex offenders if convicted. This means going on the state registry, which comes with its own limitations. While a lawyer cannot guarantee dismissal, they can defend you against criminal charge and look out for your best interests and offer you advice on next steps.
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