What is the Age of Consent in New Jersey?
The age of consent in New Jersey is 16 years old, meaning that anyone who is at least 16 years of age can legally consent to sexual activity with another adult—no matter what age. In addition, a person who is at least 13 years old can consent to sexual intercourse with anyone who is at most four years older, allowing minors below the age of consent—but who are also close in age—to have consensual sex.
If an adult has sex with a minor who is 15 years old or younger, or four years younger than the adult, then he/she will be charged with statutory rape. Not to be confused with forcible rape, this means the adult had sexual relations with another person who is under the age of consent.
The following are the two types of statutory rape crimes in New Jersey:
- Sexual assault – When an adult has sexual contact with a minor who is under 16 years of age (if the adult is at least four years older than the minor) or when an adult is a relative or in a supervisory position (e.g. teacher, coach, counselor, etc.) and the minor is between 16 and 18 years old. Sexual assault is a crime of the second degree, punishable by a maximum 10-year prison sentence.
- Aggravated sexual assault – When an adult sexually penetrates a minor who is under 13 years of age or when an adult is a relative or in a supervisory position and the minor is between 13 and 16 years old. Aggravated sexual assault is a crime of the first degree, which carries a maximum 20-year prison term.
If you have been accused of statutory rape in Bergen County, contact Brickfield & Donahue today at (201) 574-7919 for a free consultation to discuss your case.