In Michigan, Statutory Rape is prosecuted under the Criminal Sexual Conduct — Third Degree statute. MCL 750.520d(1)(a) provides that a person is guilty of CSC3, if he or she engages in sexual penetration of a person between the ages of 13 and 16 years. What this means is that for most purposes, the age of consent in Michigan is 16 years. There are some exceptions for people in positions of authority, such as teachers, school employees, and volunteers. Generally speaking, knowledge of the age of the complainant is not an element of CSC3, however, it can be very persuasive to a prosecutor or to the jury if the complainant lied about her age.
In most cases, a conviction for CSC3 will require that you register on the Sex Offender Registry for the rest of your life. One exception to this are “Romeo & Juliet” cases — where the defendant is not more than 4 years older than the complainant and the act was consensual. If you are between the ages of 17 and 21, you may qualify for treatment under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act. This Act provides for a special probationary treatment that results in no conviction and no public record of the proceedings. This can allow you to continue your life without the stigma of a sex offense on your record.
In many of the cases of statutory rape that we see, the only real evidence against our clients is the statement of the complainant or her parents and our client. If you refuse to speak to the police or submit to an interview, it makes it very difficult for the police to prove than anything occurred. Considering that a prison sentence is very likely, if you are convicted, you should refuse to speak to a police officer until you have discussed your case with a criminal defense attorney.
If you have been accused of Statutory Rape in Michigan, contact one of our Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys at 616-773-2945.