On June 26, 2003, both heterosexual and homosexual sodomy became legal (between non-commercial, consenting adults in a private bedroom) in all U. forbids traveling in interstate or foreign commerce to engage in "illicit sexual conduct" with a minor; this is considered one form of sexual tourism. Within the United States, United States servicemembers are further subject to the local state law both when off-post. The age of consent in the District of Columbia is 16 with a close-in-age exemption for those within four years of age. population resides in states which have ages of consent as 16 or 17. For repeat offenders, the minimum 10 years and the maximum is life imprisonment.2423(f) refers to Chapter 109A as its bright line for defining "illicit sexual conduct" as far as non-commercial sexual activity is concerned. So, the age is 12 years if one is within 4 years of the 12-to-15-year-old's age, 16 under all other circumstances. Citizens and Residents who travel outside of the United States. § 13) incorporates local state criminal law when on federal reservations such as Bureau of Land Management property, military posts and shipyards, national parks, national forests, inter alia. 2243(a) mentioned above) then the local state's age-of-consent laws would apply to the crime. The local state law is incorporated, for the most part, into federal law when on-post per the Assimilative Crimes Act (18 U. However, sexual relations between people 18 or older and people under 18 are illegal if they are in a "significant relationship". population resides in states which set the age of consent at 16; these states are usually smaller than states which set the ages of consent at 17 and 18 and therefore have lower populations. Mississippi, and Tennessee specifically refer to "statutory rape", with each state defining it differently. This crime has the same close-in-age exception as statutory rape stated above if the victim is 14 or 15 years old and the actor is 18 or younger and within 4 years of age.

(CA Penal Code § 288) The age of consent, at the time applying only when the girl is the younger party, was 10 when California introduced its penal code in 1850. Some media sources reported that the age of consent in California in the 1970s was 14 or 16 but in fact it was and has been 18. (d) At the time of the commission of the act, the victim is less than fifteen years of age and the actor is at least four years older than the victim and is not the spouse of the victim; or (e) At the time of the commission of the act, the victim is at least fifteen years of age but less than seventeen years of age and the actor is at least ten years older than the victim and is not the spouse of the victim; Notwithstanding the age of consent, however, for purposes of child prostitution offenses in Colorado, a "child" means a person under the age of eighteen years. The bill passed the Illinois House Judiciary II Committee 4-3 in February 2011 and moved to the Illinois Senate.

In the 1990s Governor of California Pete Wilson stated that there was a trend of men in their mid-to-late 20s having sex with and impregnating teenage girls around 14 years of age and that the statutory rape laws needed to be enforced to prevent this. By 2012 Democratic state senator William Haine of Alton sponsored Senate Bill 3359 which included a provision that a person who had sex with a minor between 13 and 17 while he/she was fewer than five years older may petition to be removed from the sex offender registry after serving 10 years.

The laws were designed to prosecute persons far older than the victims rather than teenagers close in age; therefore prosecutors rarely pursued teenagers in relationships with other teenagers even though the wordings of the laws made some close-in-age teenage relationships illegal. This subsection is ambiguous on its face and seems to apply only when the minor is transported across state or international lines to a place where the conduct is already illegal to begin with. The sentence for a first time offender convicted of producing child pornography under 18 U. While mandatory minimum offenses do not apply to mere possession of child pornography, it is almost always the case that a person in possession of child pornography is also necessarily guilty of either receipt of child pornography, which carries a five-year mandatory minimum sentence, or production of child pornography, which carries a fifteen-year mandatory minimum sentence. Sessions, the Supreme Court hold that in the context of statutory rape offenses that criminalize sexual intercourse based solely on the ages of the participants, the generic federal definition of “sexual abuse of a minor” requires the age of the victim to be less than 16. § 920), to which essentially only members of the United States Armed Services and enemy prisoners of war are subject, defines the age of consent as sixteen years in subsection but allows an exemption for people who are married to minors 12–15 years old. The crime "child molestation" makes it illegal for anyone to engage in "any immoral or indecent act to or in the presence of or with any child under the age of 16 years with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the person," as well as electronically transmit any depiction of such an act.

After the 1995 Landry and Forrest study concluded that men aged 20 and older produced half of the teenage pregnancies of girls between 15 and 17, states began to more stringently enforce age-of-consent laws to combat teenage pregnancy in addition to prevent adults from taking advantage of minors. Kercher of the Criminal Justice Center of Sam Houston State University wrote that these laws are often referred to as "Romeo and Juliet laws", though they defined Romeo and Juliet as only referring to an affirmative defense against prosecution. The United States Department of Justice seems to agree with this interpretation. Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (10 U. There is also a mistake-in-age defense if the minor is over 12, but not if the minor is under 12. Depending upon the relevant status of forces agreement, United States servicemembers are also subject to the local criminal laws of the host nation for acts committed off-post. It carries a minimum sentence of 5 years and a max of 20 years in prison for a first-time offender, as well as mandatory counseling and sex offender sentencing guidelines.

For the purposes of age of consent, the only provision applicable is . This most likely reflects Congressional intent not to unduly interfere with a state's age-of-consent law, which would have been the case if the age was set to 18 under all circumstances. Although legislation tends to reflect general societal attitudes regarding male versus female ages of consent, Richard Posner notes in his Guide to America's Sex Laws: "The U. Supreme Court has held that stricter rules for males do not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution, on the theory that men lack the disincentives (associated with pregnancy) that women have, to engage in sexual activity, and the law may thus provide men with those disincentives in the form of criminal sanctions." The Assimilative Crimes Act (18 U. Consequently, if an act is not punishable under any federal law (such as 18 U. According to the Code of the District of Columbia, a relationship is considered "significant" if one of the partners is: which is a common age of consent in most other Western countries. Nevada criminalizes "statutory sexual seduction" while Pennsylvania criminalizes "statutory sexual assault". 18-3-405.3, and Colorado's child prostitution laws. However, while Colorado law does recognize common law marriages entered into when both spouses are eighteen years of age or older, it does not recognize common law marriages entered into in Colorado or elsewhere after September 1, 2006, when one spouse is under eighteen years of age. A third applicable crime is "aggravated child molestation", which is any act of the previously mentioned child molestation that causes injuries to the victim, or involves an act of "sodomy" (defined under state law as any act of oral sex or anal sex).

2243(a) refers to situations where such younger person is under the age of 16 years, has attained 12 years of age, and the older person is more than 4 years older than the 12-to-15-year-old (persons under 12 are handled under 18 U. In most states there is not a single age in which a person may consent, but rather consent varies depending upon the minimum age of the younger party, the minimum age of the older party, or the differences in age. Even though state laws regarding the general age of consent and age gap laws differ, it is common for people in the United States to assume that sexual activity with someone under 18 is statutory rape. 18-3-402, the crime of sexual assault upon a child by a person in a position of trust, C. This crime carries a sentence of 25 years to life, and lifetime probation thereafter.Any individual convicted of these offenses, regardless if they received prison time or not, will have to register as a Sex Offender for the remainder of their life. In June 2005, a bill was proposed before the General Assembly of Georgia (USA) to raise the age of consent from 16 to 18.There was also a law which prohibited K-12 teachers from having sex with students under age 19, and violators could face prison time or get on the sex offender registry. However, there exist in the legislation defenses to prosecution if the defendant is close-in-age to the "victim" or a spouse of the "victim". Georgia was notoriously resistant to raising its age of consent in the Progressive Era.In 2012 Kristin Olsen, a Republican member of the State Assembly of California, sponsored a bill that criminalizes sexual relations between K-12 teachers and students, including students over 18, as well as sexual text messages and other communications aimed at seducing a student. A close-in-age exception allows minors 14–15 years of age to legally consent to sex with a partner who is less than 18 years old.The bill was proposed after a 41-year-old teacher and 18-year-old high school student publicly announced that they were in a relationship. IC 35-42-4-9 states: "Sexual misconduct with a minor Sec. (a) A person at least eighteen (18) years of age who, with a child at least fourteen (14) years of age but less than sixteen (16) years of age, performs or submits to sexual intercourse or deviate sexual conduct commits sexual misconduct with a minor, a Class C felony." Under certain aggravating circumstances, the offense increases to a Class B felony or to a Class A felony.While the general age of consent is now set between 16 and 18 in all U. states, the age of consent has widely varied across the country in the past. However, if the offender is 17 years old or younger, has a clean record, and such sexual activity was consensual, Youthful Offender status (a pre-trial diversionary program that seals the court record and results in a dismissal of charges) may be granted. A juvenile offender 13 years old and younger would be charged as a "serious juvenile offender" under C. The age of consent in Florida is 18, but close-in-age exemptions exist. As used in this section, "sexual activity" means oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another; however, sexual activity does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose Florida code, Title XLVI, Chapter 794 A new law passed in 2007 stated that persons convicted of statutory rape may be removed from the sex offender list if they were no more than four years older than their victims, had only the statutory rape offense on their records, and had victims aged 14–17., though the offenses are a misdemeanor rather than a felony in cases where the perpetrator is less than 19 years of age and is no more than 4 years older than the victim.