Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Jessica's Law and Statutory Rape

On July 24, Gov. Patrick signed a modified "Jessica's Law," St.2008, c.205, which provides for minimum mandatory sentences for certain sexual crimes against children.

One of the changes in the law refines statutory rape laws. It still remains a crime for anyone of any age to have sex with a child under 16 under MGL c.268, s.23, but Jessica's Law has added a new MGL c.268, s.23A, which provides a 10-year minimum sentence for statutory rape in the following instances:
  1. The child is under 12 and the defendant is more than 5 years older
  2. The child is between 12 and 16 and the defendant is more than 10 years older
  3. The defendant is a mandatory reporter under MGL c.119, s.21

More information on sex crimes and their consequences is available at Mass. Law About Sex Offenders.