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Can An 18 Year Old Date A 16 Year Old In Wisconsin?

  • Birdsall Obear

Wisconsin’s statutory rape laws are clear that it is illegal for anyone 18 years or older to engage in sexual activity with a minor. This includes sexual relationships between individuals with comparatively small age gaps, such as an 18 year old dating a 16 or even 17 year old. 

Does Wisconsin have Romeo and Juliet Laws?

No. Romeo And Juliet Laws Do Not Apply In Wisconsin

Statutory rape laws are designed to protect minors from being forced or coerced into sexual acts against their will. Every state interprets minors’ ability to consent differently, however. While some states have “Romeo and Juliet” laws in place that allow minors over a certain age to date 18 year olds, Wisconsin has no such laws. In Wisconsin, the only exception is if the couple are married. 

Wisconsin’s Two Ages Of Consent

There are two ages of consent in Wisconsin. Minors aged 16 and 17 can consent to sexual touching but not intercourse. At age 18, intercourse is no longer illegal between two adults. The law is clear that anyone under age 18 who engages in sexual intercourse is considered to be a victim. 

If you are over 18 and have sex with a minor ages 16-17, you could be charged with 1st Degree Misdemeanor Sexual Assault of a Minor. If convicted, you’ll face up to $10,000 in fines and/or up to 9 months in prison. You may also be required to register with the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry, which could limit employment and housing opportunities. 

Sexual Assault Charges Require Skilled Legal Defense

Regardless of the age difference, the consequences of a sexual assault conviction are severe in Wisconsin. If you have been charged with sexual assault, anexperienced sex crimes defense attorney will work diligently on your behalf to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. 

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