Q: Her parents are okay with her having sex. She had a previous child which she had at 14 (not by me) and she is perfectly capable of consenting. She sleeps around a lot and it was all consensual. I believe I got her pregnant. So, my question is, could I be prosecuted if I am 20 years old for getting a 16-year-old pregnant? I know the age of consent in Pennsylvania is 16. But it is confusing. Maybe she shouldn’t put my name on the birth certificate since it may not be my child. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: People ages 16 years old and older can legally consent to sexual activity. The only crime you could be charged with would be Corruptions of Minors. That is unlikely if the victim or her family do not want to pursue it. Unlikely, but not impossible, especially if the relationship sours. Whether she should put your name on the birth certificate is another subject of discussion and you should seek the opinion of a Family Law attorney. Doing so will add to the presumption that you are the father.
Q: My son picked up a minor. The story goes he coerced the child into doing something but I am not sure what at this point. Is this a misdemeanor or felony? (Upper St. Clair, PA)
A: If the alleged victim is under 18 and the accused over 18, Unlawful Restraint can be charged as a felony. Corruption of Minors can be charged as a felony if the alleged corruption is sexual in nature. I highly advise your son to not make any statements to police and to get him an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. The potential stakes are high. He could be facing jail and be subjected to 10 or more years of Megan’s Law conditions.
Q: I’m 16, my possibly soon-to-be boyfriend is 19. Almost anywhere we research or read up it says, 16 is the age of consent and it is legal if I would commit a sexual act (such as intercourse, oral sex, etc.) with him. He therefore won’t be charged with statutory rape. But, there are other websites and forums that say I can only have a sexual relationship with someone of the age 16 and 17 for it to be legal? Could someone help me out? I wouldn’t want to get him in trouble if we would do anything. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: Under Pennsylvania law, people ages 16 and older can legally consent to sexual activity. The only crime he could be subject to for having consensual sex with you would be Corruption of Minors, given the fact you are a minor and he is an adult. This would require your parent or guardian going forth to file charges and you being a witness or providing statements to prove the case there was sex. My advice to both of you would be to wait until you are 18.
Q: Can a 16-year-old have sex with 19-year-old legally? And if everything is 100% consensual.
A: Not a good idea. Corruption of Minors charges could be filed. I have seen this happen for a variety of reasons. For example, the relationship sours, the family of the 16-year -old, or any other person, is offended by it then talks to the police, etc. There is too much at risk for the 19-year-old. 16-year-old children are generally not emotionally mature enough to be doing this. (Pittsburgh, PA)
Q: My daughter 19 was in a relationship on and off with a 17-year old male. Both sets of parents knew about relationship. In April, my daughter found out she was pregnant and now the mother of the boy wants to press charges for corruption of minor.
A: Legally, it could happen as he is a minor and she is an adult, even though barely. People on the lower IQ spectrum feed off television and want to put everyone else in jail. Will it happen? I would hope the police will not pursue this and would think cooler heads will prevail. To start young parents off with criminal charges will not serve any purpose other than aggravating the situation. Plus, the defendant may have a judge find her not guilty given the circumstances.
Q: Can they search my handbag when I’m placed under arrest without my permission. I had a gun with me. I had a permit. I was under arrest for serving liquor to some teenage boys at my friend’s party. These boys were my son’s friends and they brought the beer into my apartment. The cops came because a mentally ill neighbor complained of the music. (Donegal, PA)
A: If what you are saying is that you were placed under arrest and your bag was searched pursuant to the arrest, it is likely that the search of the bag was permissible. If you have a carry permit and are not barred from possessing a firearm, you will not be charged under the PA Uniform Firearms Act. I would be concerned about the other charges which are likely to be Corruption of Minors and Furnishing Liquor to Minors. You need to see an attorney.