As of October 16, 2020, the age of consent in every U.S. state was 16, 17, or 18.  Many other states have also passed this amended or new law to protect minors from harsh charges related to sex crimes (including rape convictions). The story of Romeo and Juliet comes from the story of Shakespeare, which is set in the 1300s. Two young teenagers fell in love, but their parents forbade them to see each other. Tragically, they committed suicide so they could be together in death. Even if your situation meets the protection requirements under the Texas Romeo and Juliet Act, you should still contact a defense attorney to defend yourself. The Romeo and Juliet Laws were passed in Connecticut and Indiana in 2007.  In Indiana, a law amendment decriminalizes consensual sex between adolescents if it is found by a court in a “romantic relationship” with an age difference of four years or less and other states have adopted other reforms. Michigan passed a Romeo and Juliet Act in 2011.
 If you have been charged with legal rape, an experienced rape defense attorney can help you build a defense that can reduce or even drop your charges. Being accused of rape can be extremely stressful, and attorney Ned Barnett understands how these cases disrupt our clients` lives. Note that the Romeo and Juliet Act only deals with the requirement to register an offender and does not make any of the above qualified crimes legal. The sexual behaviour associated with these crimes is always a crime if the victim is 15 years of age or younger, even if both participants are minors and the act was consensual. However, for minors between the ages of 16 and 17, the law provides for an age difference provision that allows a 16- or 17-year-old to legally consent to sexual conduct with a person between the ages of 16 and 23. Also note that the fact that an abuser may not know the age of the victim or that the victim identifies as older cannot be used as a defence to prosecution. However, these facts may be presented as a mitigation for consideration by the court when the judgment is rendered. Under the Texas version of the law, if a young adult over the age of 17 has consensual sex with someone under 17 but is at least 15 years old, with no more than four years of age difference between the two, the new law will not require the older party to register as a sex offender if convicted of rape. Romeo and Juliet`s law is an affirmative defense, meaning it protects some teens from sex crime charges.
Therefore, one cannot be “punished” for breaking the law of Romeo and Juliet per se. Texas joined the growing list of states that passed “Romeo and Juliet” laws when the provision was signed into law by former Governor Rick Perry in 2011. Currently, Texas is 1 of 24 states with such protections. In Texas, the age of consent is 17. Thus, consent laws state that if a person 17 years of age or older has sexual intercourse with a person under the age of consent, this may be considered minor sex with a minor. However, this leaves a lot of room for consensual sex between teenagers, which becomes illegal acts because it was your birthday and have passed into the realm of law for adults. While it`s not illegal for an adult to date a minor in Texas, it`s illegal to have sex with someone between the ages of 14 and 17 if you`re more than 3 years older than them, even if the sex is consensual. Violation of this law is considered legal rape. Under Texas law, a person convicted of having sex with someone under the age of 17 does NOT have to register as a sex offender until: Some have called for the age of consent to be lifted so that children and adults can have relationships.   Previous groups that have advocated this include NAMBLA in the United States and Vereniging Martijn in the Netherlands.
In June 2005, a bill was introduced in the General Assembly of Georgia, United States of America, to raise the age of consent from 16 to 18 years.   However, the bill failed. Texas law protects a young adult over the age of 17 from prosecution for a sex crime if four conditions are met: Posted Aug 27, 2013 by Jason Kohlmeyer | Sex crimes According to the Romeo and Juliet Act, therefore, a 15-year-old could engage in sexual acts with a 13-year-old child and not be guilty of legal rape, but a 17-year-old could not. Now, however, Texas has passed the Romeo and Juliet Act to address the scenario of 2 teen accord who both consent to sexual practices in their relationship. This Romeo and Juliet law separates this type of situation from sexual assault and clearly defines the differences. This is a change to protect teens because of the changing culture of the 21st century. The Texas Romeo and Juliet Act also exempts certain additional people from the requirement to register as sex offenders. This applies to consensual sexual relations where the other party was at least 15 years old and there was no more than four years of age difference between the two.