Rape & Statutory Rape Laws in GA

Rape & Statutory Rape Laws in GA

Rape and statutory rape are serious crimes that are punishable under Georgia state laws. In this blog, we will discuss what the legal definitions of these offenses are as well as potential penalties for these offenses.  

Definition of Rape in Georgia 

According to Georgia Code § 16-6-1, a person commits rape when they have “carnal knowledge” of a female forcibly against her will. Carnal knowledge in rape occurs when there is any penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ.  

It is important to note that Georgia law acknowledges that rape can occur between spouses. If an offense that would be considered rape occurs between persons of the same sex, the alleged offender can be charged with sexual battery or aggravated sodomy.  

It is also important to note that consent is an essential factor in determining whether an act is considered rape or not in the state of Georgia. If the victim did not give consent to sexual activity, then it can be considered rape. Consent can only be given by a person of legal age and mentally capable to understand the act. 

Statutory Rape in Georgia  

Statutory rape is defined as sexual intercourse with any person under the age of 16 years of age, as those under this age cannot legally consent to intercourse (see Georgia Code § 16-6-3). While rape charges are brought forward in cases where the sexual act was allegedly forcible, a person can be charged with statutory rape even if no force was used.  

Romeo & Juliet Law in Georgia  

If an 18-year-old person is charged with statutory rape in a case where the other party is between 14-16 years old, the Romeo and Juliet provision applies. Under the Romeo and Juliet law, the accused can still face misdemeanor charges. However, if the victim is less than 14 years of age, the offender can be charged with aggravated child molestation. 

Penalties for Rape & Statutory Rape  

In Georgia, the penalties for rape and statutory rape are severe. A person convicted of the offense of rape faces felony charges, which is punishable by a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison. The maximum penalty for rape in Georgia is life imprisonment or the death penalty.  

The punishment for statutory rape varies depending on the age of the offender. As we mentioned, with the Romeo and Juliet penalty, a person can face a misdemeanor offense, which is punishable by up to a year in jail, probation, fines, community service, and “stay away” orders.  

If the accused is under 21 years old and is charged with statutory rape, they can face one to 20 years in prison. Those over the age of 21 can face 10-20 years in prison, and they will have to register as a sex offender.  

Seasoned Criminal Defense Attorneys  

If you are accused of rape or statutory rape in Georgia, it is recommended that you seek legal advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney. At Balbo & Gregg, Attorneys at Law, PC, our attorneys have decades of collective experience and are prepared to help you mount a strong defense.  

Discuss your case with our sex crime attorneys by calling (866) 580-3089 to schedule an initial consultation.