Imprisonment for statutory rape convictions can be as high as 15 or 20 years

By Brendan LaChance . . . Statutory rape laws across the United States have changed over time but both Wyoming and Florida have had a minimum age of consent to sexual intercourse on the books since at least 1880, according to the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University and the University of Missouri–Kansas City.

Back in 1880, the age at which a person could legally consent to sexual intercourse in both Wyoming and Florida was 10 years old, but by 1920, the age of consent in Wyoming had been raised to 16 years old and in Florida to 18 years old, the Center for History and New Media shows.

The age of consent in Wyoming is currently 16 years old and remains 18 years old in Florida.

The Casper Star-Tribune broke a story on Friday, reporting that Wyoming Sen. Anthony Bouchard had told a reporter that when he was 18 years old he had impregnated a girl who was 14 years old.

Bouchard himself said in a Facebook video on Thursday evening that he got a girl pregnant when both were teenagers: “She was a little younger than me, so it was like a Romeo and Juliet story,” Bouchard said in the video.

Bouchard said that he released the video to get out ahead of the story, saying that a reporter from a United Kingdom media outlet, which he did not name, had attempted to interview him as part of an investigation into his past. Bouchard is running for Wyoming’s only seat in the U.S. House, as one of a number of candidates attempting to unseat Wyoming’s U.S. Rep. Lize Cheney.

He said that investigation into his past is an attempt at what he called “dirty politics.”

“They are willing to go back almost 40 years to something that happened in my youth,” Bouchard said in the video.

Read the rest of the piece here at Oil City News.

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    • #83658 Reply

      Dwayne Daughtry

      When I hear “Romeo & Juliet” bring tossed about in public policy to present an argument about teen sex, I don’t know if I should chuckle or be angry? The labyrinth of understanding if one consenting person is 17, but the other consenting person is 4, 5, or 6 years older (depending on state law) is somewhat comical to the point that consenting people may need to wear an expiration date on their foreheads? The flip side to the anger is that Romeo & Juliet died tragically, similar to those that commit suicide for being accused or caught up of sexual allegations.

      States are free to set whatever terms it wants. But the simplification of age consent must be a conversation by the consenting community rather than a war on sex approach. Today, states are quickly rewriting marriage laws to systematically bring the age of legal marriage to 18 across the board. One of the reasons for this is to close the loop of the statutory marriage of a person that so happens to become pregnant at 16 or above, but the father is over the age of 18. This age increase immediately stops marriage but opens the door wide open for a sex crime charge. The same law also targets LGBT people that are finished with high school at age 17 but cannot legally marry.

      In some cases, states have written specific language into law where couples leaving a state to be lawfully married elsewhere could be criminally charged. Kidnapping, transporting a minor across state lines, and other languages similar to sex trafficking is rising. Essentially, such policies are a war on sex to federalize the age of marriage. But it doesn’t end there. For example, the state of Washington has statutory language that defines a student as someone that has not reached their 21st birthday. Let that sink in for a moment. Twenty-one years of age is still a minor in the state of Washington? When will other states follow suit?

      Again, this won’t be an easy subject matter and naturally with no correct answers. The clear and cut point is that we are experiencing an all-out war on sex where many more Romeo and Juliet tragedies could occur.

    • #83683 Reply

      Robert A.

      15-20 years for statutory?….. Bring it on! I got life with a 10 year minimum for statutory in Iowa. I’m a first offense, tier one, low risk, s/o living with a sentence typically handed out in other states to tier 3 offenders, high in risk who have obsessive desires for minor victims and sadistic rape. I saw a lot of hard cases in prison. Guys 5+ years in who’d talk about getting with younger girls when they got out. A lot of them whose cases pre dated 2005. Some people even after 5-10 years just don’t get the message the state tried to send. It’s sad because guys like me get caught up in the witch hunt for the hard case offenders and we’re just stuck for it. These laws are insanely out of control. Mandatories strip discretion away from judges and cheat the little guy out of mitigating circumstances that they could use to their benefit to get a fair shake. I met a “18” year old on a adults only online dating site. Everything except her first name was a lie but mandatory sentencing got me the shaft. This happens every day all over america. Us guys who get played should have a day too.

    • #83679 Reply

      Tim in WI

      Very good article,
      I find it interesting how cultural norms change over time concerning law and unlawtul sex. Control the sex, control the people. Thanks is damn right.

    • #83861 Reply

      Tim in WI

      Certainly 60 yrs for child molestation in WI 940.01 1st degree is under 13. Pain nor penetration nor nudity necessary required to convict. FODDER at FTR too. However the registy in WI makes no reference to actual behavior at all. Presumption is the key to describing it’s ambiguous outcome.

    • #84080 Reply

      Perry P.

      I feel for Robert A. I have family back there in Iowa too, and I doubt I’ll ever see any of them ever again…until they see me in a Coffin. Thanks to their Governor and current Legislature, she’s assured that The Hawkeye State is already a ‘New Jim Crow’ Arena. It’s funny how a Legislator-no matter how long ago-can just ‘Slide By’, the exact same Laws he or she helps to create, but don’t serve the same Punishment X number of years later-LIKE WE DO-and just ride out their lives like nothing criminal ever happened in their past. I’d done time in Iowa before too. So I know how it is back there. It’s all Political anyway. Most guys-that don’t have Sex Offense Convictions-can say and act however they like while inside and DON’T get Punished for it as One would in other states like Pennsylvania where I currently live. And like everywhere else also; if you have The MONEY, you can get a Lawyer that will argue anything to get you out of doing the Maximum Sentence and even avoid Community Notification or The Registry altogether. It has, still does, and will continue to happen…when you got the right amount of Loot.
      Nuff Said!

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