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Those who break the law have committed statutory rape (classified as sexual assault in Texas).Statutory rape laws are premised on the assumption that minors are incapable of giving informed consent to sexual activities.But if Jen and Tony are and living in Texas, Tony need not fear criminal charges for having consensual sex with Jen.This is because Texas has a marital exemption to the state’s statutory rape laws.

A defendant asking for this procedure must be evaluated and counseled by doctors, who must conclude that his decision is voluntary and informed. Gov't Code § 501.061 (2018).) Defendants charged with statutory rape have the usual defenses available to all criminal defendants, such as “Someone else committed this crime,” or “The alleged conduct did not occur.” Texas has a marital exemption for statutory rape that allows consensual sex between a married minor and his or her adult spouse even though their ages would prohibit it if they were not married.Their incapacity is written into the statute—hence the term, “statutory” rape.The age of consent, which is 17 in Texas, can vary by jurisdiction.And some states, including Texas, differentiate between consensual sex between minors who are close in age (for example, two teenagers of the same age), as opposed to sex between a minor and a much older adult.Though statutory rape does not require that the prosecutor prove force or violence, it is still rape.

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