17 and dating a 21
If you want to know why the Romeo and Juliet law in Texas is necessary, then familiarize yourself with an all-too-common scenario: A 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl are dating.
They are a grade apart, but nobody seems to mind; it’s not like the Texas dating laws of 2017 or 2018 are required reading in high school.
Take, for example, the widely publicized case of Marcus Dwayne Dixon, an 18-year-old high school honor student and star football player who had sex with a 15-year-old female classmate.
She claimed it was rape, he claimed it was consensual, and a jury acquitted him of the charges.
According to the Texas “Romeo and Juliet” law (found in Texas Penal Code 22.021 of the Texas Penal Code), anyone between the ages of 14 and 17 can legally engage in consensual sexual acts with someone within three years of their age, so long as the other party is at least 14 years old.
Disproving statutory rape accusations using the “Romeo and Juliet” law in Texas requires thorough, in-depth legal representation.In other words, while a 14-year-old and a 14-year-old can legally have consensual sex, a 14-year-old and 13-year-old could not.(Note the Romeo and Juliet laws in Texas have some similarities to laws against prostitution in Texas, but are ultimately different).The “Romeo and Juliet” law in Texas may exist to prevent unfair sex crime convictions, but if your sexual relationship with a young person doesn’t fit within the law’s intentionally narrow boundaries, you could face some daunting consequences.He may be 18, but she is still 16 and technically too young to consent.Is it legal for an 18-year-old to date a 15-year-old or 16-year-old? Here’s what the Texas “Romeo and Juliet” law has to say.