Statutory Rape Laws in Arizona

Statutory Rape carries with it some seriously dark connotations. Simply by containing the word “rape” the term brings an image of an unwilling participant being forced in awful circumstances. In reality, statutory rape laws essentially represent an inability of the victim to legally consent to sex, however do not generally involve forcible rape charges. This article is specifically directed at still-teen relationships, however the author would go so far as to include anyone charged with the crime less than four years apart from the victim. This article will also focus on Arizona law, the author’s home state. Please be aware that laws vary from state to state, and you should reference your own state’s statutes to determine the laws in your area.

According to the Arizona Revised Statute 13-1405, “a person commits sexual conduct with a minor by intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with any person who is under eighteen years of age.” There are no exceptions or qualifications, aside from extra penalties for “trusted persons” such as parents, teachers, or the clergy.

Contrary to popular opinion and rumors of a “three year rule,” the only exception to the statutory rape law is that the victim is between 15-17 and the accused is under 19 or is still in high school and is no more than 24 months older.

To put these laws into a more simple format:
(1) Any adult having sexual relations with a person under 15 years old is in violation.
(2) Any adult over the age of 19 years and 1 day old who is not in high school and has sex with a person under 18 is in violation
(3) Any adult who is more than 24 months older than the victim is in violation unless under 19.
(4) Any adult who is still in high school but is less than 24 months older than the victim is not in violation.

It is also an affirmative defense in Arizona to prove that the accused did not know the victim’s age at the time the crime was committed. It is also a defense that the two were married at the time.

It is important to educate young men and women who have recently graduated high school on these complex and at times arbitrary laws. Since many people between 17-19 have contact on a regular basis, it is conceivable that a recent graduate could be in technical violation of the law, even if that person had been in a preexisting relationship. Ignorance of the law is not a defense, and conviction of statutory rape carries jail time as well as registry as a sex offender.

If you have been accused of statutory rape in Arizona, contact a criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix. A criminal defense attorney in Arizona will have specific knowledge of the statutes and affirmative defenses, as well as experience with the specific court in question. Going it alone is never advisable, as simple procedural slip-ups can cost you years in jail.

Life Coaching For Teens: Section III – Part III – Life Mission, Where Am I Going?

Mission: Where Am I Going?

One of the biggest crossroads for young people is that fork in the road after High School. What I mean is, it’s the place many young people get stuck. Even those who go on to college find themselves lost, many can’t make up their minds of what to major in. And those who do graduate with a degree often times don’t enter the same field they studied for. After High School I went to college and earned a degree in Criminal Justice. Then I became a Correctional Officer for seven and half years but I was miserable in my job. I soon discovered Law Enforcement was not for me.

I didn’t like what I was doing. In retrospect I thought I had spent all that time for nothing. Then I spent the next sixteen years of my life as a minister and thoroughly enjoyed it. Inside I knew it wasn’t a lifetime passion of mine. After contemplating my life and putting the puzzle pieces together I came to this conclusion. I have certain values and care about right and wrong. Law Enforcement helped me understand that crime was the wrong thing to do, and ministry helped me understand that there’s a right way to live life and a wrong way.

In the end, I wanted to help people understand that a better way of life was possible for them so I went to college and earned my master’s degree with life coaching as a second emphasis. Now, I want to teach the next generation how to live an abundant life. This is why I’m writing this Life Coaching for Teens workbook, to help young people not do the mistakes many teens make but to start life out on the right track.

1. Don’t Spread Yourself too Thin – “You can’t change everything.”

You must remember that you can’t change everything but you can start doing the “one thing” you have been designed and destined to do. I remember, as a teenager, I had all these idealistic dreams about life and rightly so. Youth is a time to dream and think BIG. Don’t stop doing that! However, we can’t change “everything.” There will be so many things out there that will challenge you. You must find the “one” thing that will make you a history maker.

2. Find the One Thing: “When I find my niche no one can talk me out of it.”

If you have not found the “one thing” you were destined to do with your life, you soon will. However, when you find the “one thing” you were destined to do in life, no one will be able talk you out of it. Reflect on this truth for a moment, then use the following space to write a brief essay called “The One Thing”.

Life Coaching for Teens:

Statutory Rape Law in Florida

Even though movies like Manhattan and Lolita have managed to glamorize an older adult having sex with teenagers, this is still statutory rape and it is criminal. Statutory rape consists of sexual intercourse, which is why it is against the law because of the age of the victim. The law has made the determination that consensual sex cannot be given from an individual that is too young to understand. Statutory rape is considered a “strict liability” crime. This means the rapist cannot use ignorance of the person’s age as a defense, even a bona fide belief of the victim being “old enough” is not a defense. In addition, if the victim lies about their age, this is still not a defense.

16 & 17 Year Olds
According to Florida law, 18 is the age of consent. Florida Statute § 794.05, explains that young people who have sexual relationships with people who are younger than 24, the statutory rape law will not apply. The statutory rape law is more concerned with adults over the age of 24 who have sex with young people who are 16 and 17 years of age. Florida law does however recognize the fact that 16 and 17 year old teens do have consensual sex with people who are close to their own age.

Under 16
Florida Statute § 800.04 explains that anyone having sexual relations with young teens under the age of 16 is unlawful, no matter what the age of their partner. Even in today’s world, there are still some people who are older than 24 who do not know that if they have sex with someone who is 16 or 17, it is against Florida law. Furthermore, they may have no idea of their partner’s age and believe they are at least 18 and capable of giving consent. A lot of times, the victim will lie about their age and claim to be 18 or even older, but the statutory rape law is still considered a strict liability crime, and people over 24 will be prosecuted under that law.

History, Gender, & Reporting
The statutory rape law says that the victim’s sexual history is not relevant, and even though the victim may have more sexual experience than the older partner, the older partner will still be prosecuted. Because the law is written in a gender neutral language, the law also applies to women over 24 who have sexual relations with a young boy or girl of 16 or 17 years old.

In addition, the statutory rape law also applies to oral or anal intercourse between people of the same sex. If a person over 24 has sex with a person who is 16 or 17 years old, he or she will be prosecuted. Additionally, Florida Statute § 39.201(1)(b), mandates that professionals such as nurses, teachers, doctors, social workers and school officials must report child abuse by a juvenile sex offender and by an adult.

Criminal Defense
Because statutory rape is such a serious crime, that comes with serious penalties as well as serious consequences, if you or someone you know is under investigation, or has been charged, they will need an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Teens and Smoking – My Kid Has Cigarettes

Where do these teens who smoke come from? Young people are constantly exposed to advertising for everything from sugar laden cereals to plastic trinkets and toys that cost way too much and break a little too soon, and of course colorful candy cigarettes! A recent memo from the tobacco companies indicated that they wanted to bombard kids with cigarette ads on ice cream trucks. I swear as a mother, I would chase that truck down the road like a terminator and rip off the offending signs and then throttle the driver with my own two hands. No mercy and no exceptions about it. It is hard enough to deal with the issue of my teens and smoking, other children don’t need the additional advertising pressure from the ice-cream man to become teen smokers.

Each day over one thousand teens become addicted smokers. These are the kids from ages 13 to17, and they will make a decision that could take them the rest of their lives to escape. Teens and smoking can become a tragic life journey. You can lecture them, threaten them, beg and plead with them not to do it, but sometimes nothing will ever make a difference to your teens and smoking will become a rebellious issue. You just have to know that you did your very best not to let these teenagers make the wrong choice for themselves. For every three children that take up the smoking habit, one will eventually die of a tobacco related illness. Pretty sad odds for the beginnings of the teenage smoker.

Statistics for teens and smoking are not good. The majority of them will start before the age of 18 and almost all smokers will start before the age of twenty. The saying goes that if you don’t start by the time you are 20, you never will, but that is not always true. There are enough teen smokers in the world to shake a stick at, and to wonder what else can be done to stop them from ever starting in the first place, who knows? It’s a crime now to sell cigarettes to youths under the age of 18. It is against the law for teens to possess them. But they still manage to get them anyways. I know that some parents would prefer to think that it is easier to just allow their teenagers to smoke, but that’s not dealing with the issue of teens and smoking, that is poor parental judgment.

Almost ten percent of middle school youths do smoke, that number more than doubles once they get into high school. Apparently over 60% of teen smokers want to quit. But how do they exactly reach out for help quitting smoking when they are not supposed to be doing that anyways? Asking for help means admitting that there’s a problem and its difficult enough for adults to do, but with teenagers who smoke it may be a more complicated scenario to cope with because teen smokers are often rebellious smokers.

Parents especially need to figure out how to keep their kids from ever smoking in the first place and it should be nearly impossible for kids to get hold of cigarettes in any way. We need more education for teens and smoking and more realistic graphic details of what kind of damage cigarettes can do to the human body. And we need to discover ways to allow those teenage smokers already with the habit of smoking to quit without fear of repercussions. This is for non smoking youth. We want healthy and non smoking teenagers. Address the issue of teens and smoking now!

Discover Internet Abuse Laws

In the beginning, internet abuse laws were drafted to protect internet users from fraud and other types of cyber crime. Laws and policies designed to protect internet users are drafted and enforced by the FCC, or Federal Communications Commission.

As the internet gained popularity, the number of reported cyber bullying cases increased dramatically. When the first cases began to appear, there was little law enforcement officers could do to punish the offender or protect the victim.

In the case of Megan Meier, no charges were ever filed against the bullies who harassed her. The mother and daughter who initiated the ruse created a fictitious MySpace profile for a young man. They convinced Megan that “Josh” liked her and wanted to be her boyfriend. After a few weeks,Megan was told that Josh no longer wanted to talk to her.

The constant barrage of negative comments and veiled threats, pushed Megan over the edge. Two weeks short of her 14th birthday, committed suicide. The two perpetrator’s new that Megan struggled with depression and took medication to control her condition.

Internet Abuse Laws

According to law enforcement officers who investigated the incident, for whatever crime they committed, could not be charged because there was no documented charge on the books that for what they had done. No charge existed that fit the description of what they had done. That eventually changed when the Cyberbullying Protection Law was drafted into legislation.

The Cyberbullying Protection Law made it a crime to harass, stalk and bully another person, over the internet. Other pieces of legislation soon followed. Cyberstalking laws were drafted and enacted in every state of the union. Federal legislation was also enacted to protect internet users from being stalked and harassed. Special laws were also passed that were designed to specifically protect minors. Each state was responsible for drafting, approving and enforcing their own versions of the federal Internet laws.

Various Types of Internet Abuse

Internet abuse takes many forms. With the introduction of new forms of technology, the number of fraud and identity theft cases skyrocketed in a few short years. In addition to major financial crimes, the internet created the perfect medium for the production and sale of child pornography. The inclusion of the internet into public schools taught children how to navigate the world wide web.

As students became more proficient in the use of computers, bullies began to use the internet to stalk and harass their victims. For a bully, the internet was the perfect medium in which to operate. They could come and go as they pleased without leaving any physical evidence. The best part to them was that they could remain completely anonymous.

Internet Abuse Laws: Cyber Bullying

Internet abuse laws designed to deal with cyberbullying, must be drafted in great detail to be effective. In Megan Meier’s case, the legislation came too late. However, the Foundation that bears Megan’s name continues to push for new and improved legislation that will hold cyberbullies accountable for their actions. Members of the foundation have been advocates of change to make sure with each law that gets passed, no more victims will fall through the cracks. It is their goal that for every victim has the guarantee that their bully will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Cyberbullying laws cover a variety of activities that are now considered to be illegal. The following activities are included in many pieces of legislation:

  • Stalking using any type of communications device
  • Sending threatening texts or emails over cell phones, texts, instant messaging, etc.
  • Harassing an individual with repeated attempts at contact either through phone calls or texts, emails, instant messaging, etc.
  • Soliciting sexual favors
  • Sending or receiving pornographic images of minors
  • Interacting with a minor in a sexual manner using any type of device governed by the FCC

Cyberbullying has become one of the fastest growing crimes in history. Before the internet, a bully could only harass those that were close to their location. Now with the internet as a starting point, they can threaten, harass and stalk individuals who are half a world away. There are few boundaries they can’t cross and they can do it all from the security of their own home.

Individuals who are technologically savvy can hide their tracks fairly well leaving behind few traces for investigators to follow. Those who are exceptionally skilled at hacking and programming can create shields and firewalls that are difficult to crack, even with the advanced systems law enforcement agencies have access to.

Internet Abuse Statistics

Statistics that detail how extensive cyberbullying really is create an incredible picture of just how wide spread the problem is. Internet stalking and harassment reports increase daily and from the looks of the numbers, there is no end in sight.

  • Over 80 percent of students think that cyberbullies choose to use the internet because they can remain anonymous and it is much easier for them to get away with the crime
  • Over two thirds of the teens surveyed believe that cyberbullying is becoming a serious problems that needed to be investigated further
  • Over 40 percent of students admit to having been bullied at least once and out of those numbers at least 1 in 4 claim that it has happened more than once
  • Statistics have proven that girls are targeted by cyberbullies twice as often as boys
  • The majority of girls who are stalked on line are white
  • Statistics state that a person who is bullied online is 9 times more likely to contemplate suicide than individuals who aren’t bullied
  • Statistics show that only 1 out of every 10 children who are bullied online will report the incident to a parent, teacher or other person in a position of authority.
  • Cell phones are increasingly common among middle and high school students. It is estimated that almost 80 percent of students use a cell phone or other electronic device on a daily basis
  • Statistics shown that almost 90 percent of teens have seen or experienced bullying on a social media site such as Facebook and Twitter

Internet abuse laws target individuals who attempt to use the internet as their own personal playground. Cyberbullying and internet stalking have reached epidemic proportions, causing schools, libraries and other public places to implement anti-bullying programs to raise awareness about the dangers of surfing the internet without taking adequate precautions.

Anti-bullying programs attempt to teach both parents and children safe ways to navigate the internet without becoming vulnerable to predators and cyberbullies who are capable of hacking into personal computers and other electronic devices. Programs designed to help students remain safe while surfing the web offer tips to the public to help them learn what types of online behavior is acceptable and what should be avoided.

Anti-virus programs are designed to prevent hackers from installing spyware and malware on computers. Hackers attach files to emails and websites so that when a person opens the attachment or clicks on the website the malicious software is downloaded directly to their computer. These programs can take over manual operations of a laptops camera or install keyloggers that track the users every move. This allows the hacker to retrieve passwords, codes, confidential banking information as well as a variety of other types of private and personal information.