Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Fayetteville Man Arrested on Child Molestation and Statutory Rape Charges

Posted by Richard Lawson | Aug 03, 2020 | 0 Comments

Fayette County Courthouse

Fayetteville, Ga. - Fayette County authorities have arrested a local man in Fayetteville. He is facing charges of child molestation, sexual battery, and statutory rape.

All of the charges stem from the same investigation. No other details have been released yet, however, he has been booked into the Fayette County Jail and has been denied bond.

As a Fayette County Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the law behind the offense of statutory rape as it is defined in the state of Georgia.

Statutory Rape in Georgia

Statutory Rape in Georgia is defined by law as:“(a) A person commits the offense of statutory rape when he or she engages in sexual intercourse with any person under the age of 16 years and not his or her spouse, provided that no conviction shall be had for this offense on the unsupported testimony of the victim. (b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, a person convicted of the offense of statutory rape shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years; provided, however, that if the person so convicted is 21 years of age or older, such person shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 20 years. Any person convicted under this subsection of the offense of statutory rape shall, in addition, be subject to the sentencing and punishment provisions of Code Section 17-10-6.2. (c) If the victim is at least 14 but less than 16 years of age and the person convicted of statutory rape is 18 years of age or younger and is no more than four years older than the victim, such person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.” O.C.G.A. §16-6-3.

Provision (c) of this statute is known as a “Romeo and Juliet” law. There are different sex crimes in Georgiathat have “Romeo and Juliet” laws.

The law is as follows: if the victim is between 14 and 16-years-old and the accused person is 18-years-old and is not more than four years older than the victim, then he or she will only face misdemeanor charges.

To be convicted, the state of Georgia must show that the accused person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If the convicted person is under 21-years-old, then he or she is facing anywhere from one to twenty years imprisonment. If the convicted person is over 21-years-old, then he or she is facing ten to twenty years imprisonment and will have to register as a sex offender in the state of Georgia for life. If the ages of the victim and the convicted person fall into the range stated in (c) of the §16-6-3, then he or she will be facing a misdemeanor, which is a sentence of fewer than 12 months. 

Practice Note

Statutory rape is a different offense than rape in Georgia. If you or a loved one has been arrested in Georgia, do not attempt to dissect the law on your own. Call our offices today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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