Q: If a 17 year old girl wants to be with a 21 year old guy, is it legal in the state of Texas? If so what is the max age?
I know the age of consent in the state of Texas is 17. However does that mean that they are free to have a consentual sexual relationship with anyone of any age or is there a specific maximum age gap?
A: Texas Penal Code
Sec. 43.25. SEXUAL PERFORMANCE BY A CHILD. (a) In this section:
(1) "Sexual performance" means any performance or part thereof that includes sexual conduct by a child younger than 18 years of age.
(2) "Sexual conduct" means sexual contact, actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, sexual bestiality, masturbation, sado-masochistic abuse, or lewd exhibition of the genitals, the anus, or any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola.
(3) "Performance" means any play, motion picture, photograph, dance, or other visual representation that can be exhibited before an audience of one or more persons.
(4) "Produce" with respect to a sexual performance includes any conduct that directly contributes to the creation or manufacture of the sexual performance.
(5) "Promote" means to procure, manufacture, issue, sell, give, provide, lend, mail, deliver, transfer, transmit, publish, distribute, circulate, disseminate, present, exhibit, or advertise or to offer or agree to do any of the above.
(6) "Simulated" means the explicit depiction of sexual conduct that creates the appearance of actual sexual conduct and during which a person engaging in the conduct exhibits any uncovered portion of the breasts, genitals, or buttocks.
(7) "Deviate sexual intercourse" and "sexual contact" have the meanings assigned by Section 43.01.
(b) A person commits an offense if, knowing the character and content thereof, he employs, authorizes, or induces a child younger than 18 years of age to engage in sexual conduct or a sexual performance. A parent or legal guardian or custodian of a child younger than 18 years of age commits an offense if he consents to the participation by the child in a sexual performance.
(c) An offense under Subsection (b) is a felony of the second degree, except that the offense is a felony of the first degree if the victim is younger than 14 years of age at the time the offense is committed, regardless of whether the actor knows the age of the victim at the time of the offense.
(d) A person commits an offense if, knowing the character and content of the material, he produces, directs, or promotes a performance that includes sexual conduct by a child younger than 18 years of age.
(e) An offense under Subsection (d) is a felony of the third degree, except that the offense is a felony of the second degree if the victim is younger than 14 years of age at the time the offense is committed, regardless of whether the actor knows the age of the victim at the time of the offense.
(f) It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this section that:
(1) the defendant was the spouse of the child at the time of the offense;
(2) the conduct was for a bona fide educational, medical, psychological, psychiatric, judicial, law enforcement, or legislative purpose; or
(3) the defendant is not more than two years older than the child.
(g) When it becomes necessary for the purposes of this section or Section 43.26 to determine whether a child who participated in sexual conduct was younger than 18 years of age, the court or jury may make this determination by any of the following methods:
(1) personal inspection of the child;
(2) inspection of the photograph or motion picture that shows the child engaging in the sexual performance;
(3) oral testimony by a witness to the sexual performance as to the age of the child based on the child's appearance at the time;
(4) expert medical testimony based on the appearance of the child engaging in the sexual performance; or
(5) any other method authorized by law or by the rules of evidence at common law.
(h) Conduct under this section constitutes an offense regardless of whether the actor knows the age of the victim at the time of the offense.
Kiele Linroth Pace agrees with this answer
A: I agree with attorney Grant St Julian III.
Although the age of consent means the adult will not be charged with SEXUAL ASSAULT, he can still be arrested and convicted for the crimes of INDECENCY WITH A CHILD and also for SEXUAL PERFORMANCE BY A CHILD because anyone under 18 is a "child" for the purposes of those crimes and the "age limit" is two years on those crimes.
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