Society has a very long history, and for the longest time we have created laws in order to keep things in order. One of the most heinous crimes from the very start of such things was committing sex offenses against children. The only problem was that the concept of a child was rather abstract, especially when you consider the fact that children as young as twelve and thirteen used to be married off or were put to work in factories and the like and were pretty much considered properly grown adults.
Now, we consider anyone under the age of eighteen to be a minor, and trying to have sex with a minor is a pretty serious offense. It carries a prison sentence that could last anywhere between five and thirty years based on what the judge thinks is appropriate in that particular situation. However, it is important to realize that someone being older than eighteen is not automatically an adult, at least not in a lot of ways. Prosecuting a twenty year old for having sex with a seventeen year old would not make a lot of sense because there was a point not all that long ago when they might have gone to high school together. Hence, the law needed a little more common sense clauses that would prevent it from being a hard and fast rule that could be used to harm people instead of preventing vulnerable individuals from getting taken advantage of.
Hence, the law states that the age difference between the minor and the offender needs to be more than seven years for it to be considered a major offense. It is important to remember that this only applies in situations where both parties consented to the sexual interaction, a lack of consent means that the act was rape which is a completely different ballpark that would require a much defter touch since it is a serious crime that involved the infliction of violence upon an innocent individual.
That being said, where consent was procured, a crime has still been committed if the age difference between the sexual partners is greater than seven years and one of the partners is under the age of eighteen. There is another layer to this law that a lot of people don’t seem to think about, which is the fact that if the underage individual is younger than fifteen then the penalty is going to be a lot more severe than it would have been otherwise.
If this is the case, then the penalty is going to be at least ten years, and can up to forty years as well. This, of course, only applies when the offender is more than seven years older than the victim, and the legal term for this activity is statutory rape. If the offender is less than seven years older then the penalty is probably going to be less severe.