Fredericksburg, VA asked in Civil Rights, Criminal Law and Juvenile Law for Virginia

Q: What if a person older then a 15 year old have a sexual activity with a 14 year old is that considered illegal? in VA.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Virginia, the age of consent is 18 years old. This means that an individual who is 18 years or older cannot legally engage in sexual activity with someone under the age of 18, even if the younger person agrees to it.

However, Virginia does have a close-in-age exemption, sometimes known as a "Romeo and Juliet law." According to Virginia statutory rape law, if an adult engages in consensual sexual activity with a minor aged 15, 16, or 17, and the adult is less than three years older than the minor, it is not considered a criminal offense.

In the scenario you described, where a 15-year-old engages in sexual activity with a 14-year-old in Virginia, it would likely be considered illegal, as the close-in-age exemption does not apply to individuals under 15 years old.

It's important to note that any sexual activity with a minor under the age of 18 can have serious legal consequences, regardless of the age difference between the two parties. If you have specific concerns, it is best to consult with a legal professional who can provide more detailed guidance based on the exact circumstances of the situation.

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