statutory rape


: sexual intercourse with a person who is below the statutory age of consent

Examples of statutory rape in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Saavedra, meanwhile, was convicted in October 2023 of committing statutory rape and oral copulation of a person under 18 years of age, both felony offenses. Bay City News, The Mercury News, 28 Mar. 2024 The bleak irony of applying it to a relationship that involved statutory rape and no small amount of psychological damage is the first stroke of brilliance in Haynes’ latest masterpiece, but far from the last., 17 Nov. 2023 Investigators are also looking into allegations of statutory rape against Sean Combs, the source said. Doha Madani, NBC News, 5 Apr. 2024 He has been charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment and statutory rape. Samira Asma-Sadeque, Peoplemag, 14 Mar. 2024 He was arrested and booked on suspicion of kidnapping, false imprisonment and statutory rape. Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times, 14 Mar. 2024 Then Polanski, who has not returned to the United States since fleeing while awaiting sentencing for statutory rape, was named best director over the favorites, Marshall and Scorsese. Sarah Bahr, New York Times, 8 Mar. 2024 He was imprisoned at age 19 for statutory rape, signed a series of bad contracts that cost him as much as 50% of his income and developed a persistent alcohol problem. Tom Roland, Billboard, 21 Feb. 2024 The 36-year-old father faces one count of endangering the welfare of a child, while the 26-year-old teacher was arrested on charges of statutory rape and molestation. USA TODAY, 11 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'statutory rape.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1873, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of statutory rape was in 1873

Dictionary Entries Near statutory rape

Cite this Entry

“Statutory rape.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Medical Definition

statutory rape

stat·​u·​to·​ry rape ˌstach-ə-ˌtōr-ē- How to pronounce statutory rape (audio)
: sexual intercourse with a person who is below the age of consent as defined by law

Legal Definition

statutory rape

: rape consisting of sexual intercourse with a person beneath an age (as 14 years) specified by statute

Note: Many state statutes also specify a minimum age of the perpetrator or an age differential (as at least four years) between the perpetrator and the victim. Consent of the victim and belief that the victim is of the age of consent are usually considered immaterial. Statutory rape is now codified under various names, such as rape in the second degree, rape in the third degree, unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, and criminal sexual conduct in the second degree.

More from Merriam-Webster on statutory rape

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