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Statutory Rape Laws in California – Penal Code Section 261.5 PC

On Behalf of | May 19, 2020 | Criminal Defense, Sex Crimes

Statutory rape is a serious criminal sexual offense that is defined as sexual contact with a person who is under an age specified by law, known as the “age of consent.” Depending on the state the legal term of the crime may vary from statutory rape to another name.

This offense is basically an act that includes sexual assault of a child, sexual intercourse with a minor, criminal sexual penetration of a child or a minor under certain age, and sexual abuse of a minor.  Additionally,  even with the consent of the child or the minor the act will still be considered as statutory rape criminal act under the eye of the law.

Statutory Rape in California

As a serious sexual crime that involves minor’s statutory rape is harshly prosecuted in California and comes under the California Penal Code Section 261.5 PC and can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. The punishments and penalties include imprisonment, substantial fines, probation/parole, mandatory rehabilitation period and a record as a sex offender. 

In California state law the age of consent is 18 years and therefore a person  under the age of 18 is legally not able to give consent for a sexual act. Even if the minor is willing to have sexual intercourse with the ofender the law considers the act as a statutory rape in California.

Punishment for Statutory Rape in California

The act under California Penal Code Section 261.5 PC is considered as wobbler offense, and punishments varies according to the situation but a general penalty for this crime is up to 4 years in jail


  • No sexual intercourse
  • Victim is above the age of 18
  • False Accusation
  • Lack of evidence

Statutory rape charges come under sex crimes in California. Following the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney is the best course of action to fight against this type of crime in California. With more than 40 years of experience, The Law Office of Raoul Severo in California is glad to assist you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out for a free of charge evaluation of your case.