Last year a survey was conducted and Tennessee ranked #1 in violent crimes in America. Sexual assault and rape were in that violent crimes category. Statutory rape, however, is a particularly difficult crime to place, as it’s different from forcible rape. In other words, you can be convicted on a statutory rape charge even if your partner was a willing and consensual participant. If you’re accused of statutory rape, call Jeff Cherry or Jack Lowery – immediately. Your entire life could hang in the balance.
Penalties for statutory rape in Tennessee
We all hear horror stories about the 18 year old high school student who sleeps with a 17 year old partner and then ends up in prison. Tennessee laws don’t quite work that way, but the consequences are still severe. In order to be charged and then convicted with statutory rape:
- Your partner must be at least 13, and you must be at least 17
- Your partner must be at least 13, and you must be at least 23
- Your partner must be at least 15, and you must be between 20 and 24
The age difference affects the way the crime is categorized. All three categories are felonies, which means you could possibly receive prison time if you’re convicted; between one and six years for a Class E felony, and between two and 12 years for a Class D felony. You also face fines of between $3000 and $5000, and you could be forced to register as a sex offender. Once on the registry, you could have trouble attending school, getting a job or living within range of children of any age at all.
Tennessee, however, does have a “Romeo and Juliet” clause; if your partner is at least 13 and you are under the age of 17, you could be exempt from the most serious criminal charges.
Regardless of your age or your partner’s age, a rape conviction of any kind in Tennessee is serious business. You should seek help from a criminal defense attorney immediately, so you can start building your defense. Your whole future may be in jeopardy if you don’t.