How Do Rape and Statutory Rape Differ?

Rape and statutory rape are both crimes in Kansas. They are equally severe and can both result in life-changing consequences for a perpetrator, including years in prison. They are different crimes on a legal level, however, that come with different elements of proof. In general, rape means sexual intercourse without consent, while statutory rape is sexual intercourse with a victim who is legally incapable of giving consent.

Definition of Rape in Kansas

According to the Kansas Revisor of Statutes Section 21-5503, rape is to knowingly engage in sexual intercourse with a victim who does not consent. The definition of consent is to give permission for something to happen, such as to engage in sexual activity. Kansas lists five circumstances where sexual intercourse can constitute rape:

  1. With a victim who is overcome by force or fear, or when a victim is physically powerless (e.g., unconscious).
  2. With a victim who is incapable of giving consent due to mental deficiency or incapacitation.
  3. With a child who is under the age of 14 years old.
  4. With a victim when consent was obtained through a knowing misrepresentation made by the perpetrator that the intercourse was medically or therapeutically necessary.
  5. With a victim when the victim’s consent was obtained through a knowing misrepresentation made by the perpetrator that the intercourse was a legally required procedure.

Under state law, rape is a felony crime – as are the crimes of attempted rape, conspiracy and criminal solicitation to commit rape. Kansas law also states that it is not a defense if the offender did not know or have reason to know that the victim did not give his or her consent to sexual intercourse or that the victim was overcome by force or fear or physically powerless.

What Is Statutory Rape?

The definition of statutory rape in Kansas is sexual intercourse with any person under the age of 16. This is a lower age of majority than in some other states that use the age of 18 to mark adulthood and the age of consent. In Kansas, 16 is the age where an individual is viewed as having the mental proficiency to legally consent to sexual activity.

Engaging in sexual intercourse with a child who is 15 years old or younger is the felony crime of statutory rape. Kansas’ statutory rape law also applies to other people who are legally unable to consent to sex, such as those who are physically or mentally incapacitated or disabled.

Does Kansas Have a Romeo and Juliet Law?

Some states have exceptions to their statutory rape laws, known as Romeo and Juliet Laws. These laws protect certain people from statutory rape charges in cases where the two parties are close in age or are both minors. However, Kansas has no such exception. Even if one party is 16 and the other is 15, it is statutory rape and can come with severe criminal consequences.

What Is the Difference?

The key difference between rape and statutory rape is that in a statutory rape case, consent is not an issue. Whether or not the victim gave his or her consent is not relevant, as the victim is under the age of 16 and could not legally consent to sex acts. Even if the sexual activity was entered into willingly by both parties, it can be viewed as statutory rape if one (or both) of the parties is 15 or younger.

Your Rights as a Survivor of Rape or Statutory Rape

If you or your child is a victim of rape or statutory rape in Kansas, you may have grounds to file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator as well as an institution, such as a school, church or workplace. The rape victim attorneys at DRZ Law can help you pursue justice and maximum financial compensation for the severe crime committed against you. We care about our clients and will protect you through each phase of the legal process. Contact us today at (913) 400-2033 for a free and confidential case consultation.

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