A thirty one year old Billerica man pled guilty in the Lowell Superior Court to two counts of statutory rape of a fifteen year old girl. According to the Lowell Sun, the two met through a chat room on the internet. In October 2006 the two met for the first time near the girl’s home in Billerica. The defendant would pick the girl up from her bus stop and drive her home. Eventually the defendant brought the girl to his parents home where they had consensual sexual relations. For the next nine months the relationship continued. In June 2007 the two went to Salisbury beach for the day. When the girl returned home her mother questioned her about her sunburn. She admitted going to the beach with an older man. The next day the girl’s mother got the defendant’s license plate and contacted the police. The defendant was charged with two counts of statutory rape.
There are two forms of rape of a child in Massachusetts. One is the rape of a child with force and the other is rape of a child without force, more commonly known as statutory rape. In this case the defendant was convicted of statutory rape. Massachusetts law specifically states that if the person is under the age of sixteen, the fact that he or she consents to the act or willingly enters into the act does not constitute a defense. Thus, even though the defendant in this case was involved in a relationship with the fifteen year old girl for nine months and the sex acts were entered into voluntarily he was still guilty of a felony. He will also have to register as a sex offender with the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB).
It is important to note that even a good faith belief that the person with whom you are having sex is sixteen or older is not a defense to this crime. Even if you tried to ascertain the person’s age and were convinced that the person was at least sixteen years old you can be convicted of this crime if it is proven that he or she had not yet attained that age.
Attorney Stephen Neyman has defended sex crimes throughout his entire career. Statutory rape cases are difficult to defend. The prosecution must prove only that the person was under the age of sixteen at the time that he or she engaged in sexual relations with the defendant. Sometimes the defendant is also under the age of sixteen. When this happens the defendant oftentimes files a cross complaint against the “victim”. In this situation, both parties will face a prosecution for statutory rape. When that happens the parties usually exercise their Fifth Amendment privileges and the matter is resolved by dismissal without a trial.
If you have been charged with a sex crime in Massachusetts it is important to act quickly and hire the best Massachusetts criminal defense attorney you can find. For more information on sex crimes in Massachusetts please read our website or contact our office.
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