Laws on adults dating minors
The critical law to understanding the gravity of the danger is to understand that a person under 18, under California law, cannot legally consent to sexual conduct (Penal Code § 261.5(a) (defining minor)).
It can be a very dangerous place for a sex offender.
The following question is often asked of our office.
Our first response is usually, “well, what do you mean by dating?
(a) Unlawful sexual intercourse is an act of sexualintercourse accomplished with a person who is not the spouse of theperpetrator, if the person is a minor.
For the purposes of thissection, a "minor" is a person under the age of 18 years and an"adult" is a person who is at least 18 years of age.(c) Any person who engages in an act of unlawful sexualintercourse with a minor who is more than three years younger thanthe perpetrator is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony, andshall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding oneyear, or by imprisonment in the state prison.(d) Any person 21 years of age or older who engages in an act ofunlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who is under 16 years of ageis guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony, and shall be punishedby imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or byimprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years.(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, anadult who engages in an act of sexual intercourse with a minor inviolation of this section may be liable for civil penalties in thefollowing amounts:(D) An adult over the age of 21 years who engages in an act ofunlawful sexual intercourse with a minor under 16 years of age isliable for a civil penalty not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars(,000).
More shocking is the potential for the 15-year-old, once the relationship ends, to contact the police and, emotionally claim that she was forcibly raped by the 18-year-old, perhaps multiple times. Her tears and the details of her claim help her credibility.