Houston, TX asked in Sexual Harassment and Criminal Law for Texas

Q: Is it legal for a girl who just turned 14 to date someone who is almost 18?

A boy I know and this girl started dating, well, she just turned 14, and he’s going to be 18 soon.. he says it’s legal for them to date since it’s only three years apart, but what happens once he’s 18?

1 Lawyer Answer
Paul Looney
Paul Looney
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Houston, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: There is no law in Texas prohibiting a 14 year old from dating a 17 year old. There is no law prohibiting a 14 year old from dating an 18 year old. However, if the two have sex problems begin, and they are not simple problems. Having sex with a 14 year old carries serious prison time. The "three years apart" rule does not apply to keep the 17 or 18 year old from being arrested, jailed, prosecuted and ultimately sent to prison. The "three years apart" rule is an affirmative defense to 'conviction", but it is not an automatic. The law will NOT look compassionately on a male having sex with a 14 year old, and the reason is VERY clear. Fourteen year old girls should NOT be having sex, with anyone, even if they are only "three years apart". The law protects your rational behavior, just dating. The law punishes your irrational behavior, having sex with your boyfriend. The age of consent in Texas is 17. The law in Texas protects that pronouncement, vigorously. Don't make problems for this young man. Life is tough enough without having the police and prosecutors in your life. Good luck.

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