This makes sense, since the law does not, in general, hold people accountable who lack the mental capacity or maturity to understand the consequences of their actions.
But at what point does a child legally become an adult -- i.e. Since maturity varies from person to person, when it comes to assigning an age for attaining legal capacity, states must draw a line somewhere -- even if it is somewhat arbitrary.
Your 18-year-old son is dating a 16-year-old female classmate – no big deal, right?
A two-year age difference isn’t particularly alarming, and dating is fairly standard at that age.
Strictly speaking, New Jersey does not have a statutory rape charge. If you are an adult and you have sex with someone under the age of 16, you can be charged with statutory rape (aggravated sexual assault) if you are more than four years older than the victim.
First, the age of legal consent in New Jersey is 16.
Because they are still in the process of developing an understanding of behavioral and social norms, most people agree that young children should not be held legally accountable for their actions.
In legal terms, children are said to lack legal capacity, and therefore are not treated and/or punished in the same way as adults.
Take, for example, the widely publicized case of Marcus Dwayne Dixon, an 18-year-old high school honor student and star football player who had sex with a 15-year-old female classmate.Statutory rape, by definition, does not entail any use of force in the initiation of sexual intercourse.Instead, statutory rape is a sex crime that solely considers the age of both sexual partners.A different set of rules applies to situations where there is an imbalance of power.If the older person has authority over the younger, such as an employer, coach, teacher or pastor, then the age of consent is usually 18 or even 21.