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The new laws, named “Romeo and Juliet laws” after Shakespeare’s tragic teenage lovers, attempt to correct overly harsh penalties and prison terms meted out over the years.
An older teen who has sex with his younger girlfriend can be arrested, prosecuted, and jailed for the act.
Even worse, he may carry the stigma of being labeled a sex offender for the rest of his life.
The term is rarely used today, and refers to a sexual act involving one or more individuals under the age of consent. Romeo and Juliet provisions concern incidents in which the younger of the individuals has passed the age of puberty.
An incident in which the younger of the individuals has not passed the age of puberty is typically defined as .
the age at which an individual can legally agree to have sex) varies from state to state – and often splits along gender lines – it is definitive in one aspect: it refers to sexual acts between heterosexuals. S., sex between homosexuals is either not addressed by existing laws or is considered a crime.
Recent changes in the laws governing consensual sex between minors or an adult 18 years of age and a minor 14-16 years of age have acknowledged that this intimacy is not the same as molestation.
Romeo and Juliet laws and clauses concern young adults or teenagers who are a few years apart and have willingly had sexual relations.
These provisions relate to state and federal laws regarding statutory rape or sexual assault.
The purpose of Romeo and Juliet provisions is to prevent a sexual act that occurred between individuals with a few years age difference from being considered a criminal offense.