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What are the New Hampshire laws on statutory rape?

Most people understand statutory rape to mean a consensual sexual relationship that is illegal under the law because one person is a minor or if both parties involved are minors, there is too large of an age gap between them. However, each state sets its own specific laws regarding this topic, and in New Hampshire statutory rape falls under the same guidelines as felonious sexual assault.

According to the law, felonious sexual assault is a Class B felony and can apply to several different circumstances. One of these circumstances includes someone engaging in sexual contact with someone who is at least 13 but not yet 16, when the actor is at least 4 years older than the other person.

This law also covers consensual sexual activity where one of the participants is under the age of 13. If the contact involves family members or those living in the same household, domestic violence charges may also apply. Under the law, sexual contact can include various other acts outside of intercourse.

Because felonious sexual assault also includes instances where the sexual contact results in serious injury or situations where the actor has a position of authority over the other party, the consequences can be severe, even if the defendant is a minor. Being labeled as a sex offender can mean that you have to register on the sex offender list for the rest of your life, making it difficult to get a job or establish a positive reputation within the community. In these cases, it is even more important that the defendant have strong legal representation.

Source: The New Hampshire General Court, "Sexual Assault and Related Offenses," accessed April. 02, 2015

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