In Texas, statutory rape includes sexual penetration and sexual contact between an adult and someone younger than 18.The crime is broken into several categories, as explained below.Aggravated sexual assault includes sexual penetration (however slight) between a minor who is younger than 14 years old and a defendant of any age.
Sexual assault includes sexual penetration between a minor who is 17 or younger and a defendant who is three or more years older than the victim.
This offense is a second degree felony, and penalties include at least two (and up to 20) years in prison.
Indecency with a child includes sexual contact (sexual touching other than penetration, even over clothing, that is meant to arouse or gratify sexual desire) between a minor who is 17 or younger and a defendant who is three or more years older than the victim.
In Texas, it is illegal for an adult (someone 18 or older) to have sex with a minor (someone younger than 17), even if the sex is consensual.
Those who break the law have committed statutory rape.
Statutory rape laws are premised on the assumption that minors are incapable of giving informed consent to sexual activities.Their incapacity is written into the statute—hence the term, “statutory” rape.The age of consent can vary among states, and some states differentiate between consensual sex between minors who are close in age (for example, two teenagers of the same age), as opposed to sex between a minor and a much older adult.Though statutory rape does not require that the prosecutor prove force or violence, it is still rape.Of course, rape that does involve force or an assault is illegal in Texas and prosecuted as forcible rape (see Texas Sexual Battery Laws).Assaults of a sexual nature may also be charged under the state’s assault and battery laws (to learn more, see Aggravated Assault Laws in Texas and Child Enticement in Texas).