statutory rape


Definition of 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

Burgess pleaded no contest to felony statutory rape of a child who is now 7 years old. Fox News, "Parents of sexually abused child say plea deal too light," 25 May 2018 Jonathan Busch, 54, is charged with statutory rape of a child under the age of 15 and indecent liberties with a child. Chris Perez, Fox News, "Ex-teacher busted for allegedly having sex with same teen Anthony Weiner sexted," 23 June 2018 The security guard who attacked her, Brandon Lamar Zachary, 28, began serving a 20-year prison sentence for statutory rape in 2016. Daniel Victor, New York Times, "Woman Who Was Raped as a Teenager Is Awarded $1 Billion in Damages," 23 May 2018 Polanski pled guilty to statutory rape in a plea bargain in the late '70s and has since attempted to resolve the decades-old case. Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY, "Academy expels Bill Cosby, Roman Polanski," 3 May 2018 Currently, if someone 21 or older has intercourse with someone under 17, it is deemed statutory rape. Tessa Weinberg, kansascity, "It's time to toughen Missouri's law on child marriages, witnesses tell state senators | The Kansas City Star," 14 Mar. 2018 Under Alabama law, that constitutes rape in the second degree, also known as statutory rape, according to experts. Anna Claire Vollers,, "Alabama looks to end child visitation for convicted rapists, but many exceptions would remain," 19 Jan. 2018 Polanski, who received Oscar nominations for writing and directing throughout his career before winning best director for The Pianist, pleaded guilty to statutory rape of a 13-year-old and then fled the country in 1978. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Roman Polanski threatens to take Oscars academy to court following expulsion," 9 May 2018 While serving his sentence for the statutory rape conviction, Reynolds was convicted on a series of charges that included bank fraud, misusing campaign funds and making false statements to the Federal Election Commission. Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY, "Former U.S. congressman Mel Reynolds is headed back to prison - and then Africa," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'statutory rape.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of statutory rape

1873, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

25 Oct 2018

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The first known use of statutory rape was in 1873

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More Definitions for statutory rape

statutory rape


English Language Learners Definition of statutory rape

law : the crime of having sex with someone who is younger than an age that is specified by law

statutory rape

stat·​u·​to·​ry rape | \ˌstach-ə-ˌtōr-ē- \

Medical Definition of statutory rape 

: sexual intercourse with a person who is below the age of consent as defined by law

statutory rape


Legal Definition of 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.

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