Is an 18 year old dating a minor illegal

The Forum News Service does not always report on the specifics of juvenile cases, but local law enforcement officials say it is a problem they see regularly.

For so many, the whole world of teen dating can seem like a gray area of what is right, what is wrong and what is too young.

“And it doesn’t matter what the gender is; if it’s the female that is the older one, she’s the one in trouble,” said Nguyen.

That means, for example, that teens as close as a 15 and a 17 year old or a 14 and 16 year old, depending on their birthdates, could be in violation of the law if their relationship becomes sexual in nature.“Just dating in and of itself isn’t illegal,” said Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander.

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In most states, the age of consent has been arbitrarily designated by statute.Charges can range from fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct all the way up to an automatic felony if it’s proven there was sexual penetration.It could mean jail time, it could mean having to register as a sex offender for 10 years.In this hypothetical state, two seventeen year olds who had consensual sex could both theoretically be convicted of statutory rape.Other states imply a different method which, like the federal statute, takes into account the relative ages of both people. -- Two northwestern Minnesota teenagers from Becker County -- considered juveniles -- have recently been charged with felony crimes that not all teens or their parents even know about.

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