She claimed it was rape, he claimed it was consensual, and a jury acquitted him of the charges.
However, because of their age difference, the jury still found Dixon guilty of statutory rape and aggravated child molestation, and sentenced him to a mandatory 10 years in prison under Georgia law. He walked out of prison on May 3, , at age 19, a free man. Prior to his court case and conviction, Dixon had been offered a full football scholarship at Vanderbilt University, which was revoked after his arrest.
Upon his release from prison, Dixon enrolled at Hampton University in Virginia with a football scholarship. The Dixon case is just one in a long line of similar legal battles teens have faced in the last decade. A Hot Topic Among Teens The recent discovery that year-old actress Jamie Lynn Spears, the sister of pop star Britney Spears, became pregnant by her year-old boyfriend has again turned consensual sex among teens into a hotly contested issue. Parents, particularly those with teenage daughters, certainly have cause for concern.
Research shows that teenage girls tend to have their first sexual experience with male partners who are three or more years older. But do these dangers warrant laws that put young people in prison? Romeo and Juliet Make a Comeback Statutory rape is defined by the FBI as non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is younger than the statutory age of consent.
My Son Is Dating a Minor: Should I Be Worried About the Legal Implications? . your child is sexually involved with someone under the age of 18, talk to your. California - The age of consent in California is It is illegal for anyone to engage in sexual intercourse with a minor (someone under the age.
The statutory rape laws vary greatly from state to state, with more than half of the states setting the legal age of consent at 16 other states range from 14 to For the most part, there is no single age at which a person can consent to sexual activity. Only 12 states set a specific age ranging from 16 to 18 , while in the majority of states, the age of consent depends on multiple factors, including the ages of each partner and the number of years between them.
The purpose behind most statutory rape laws is to punish grown adults who take sexual advantage of a minor. The following are just a few examples of Romeo and Juliet laws currently in place in the United States:.
And detectives have to investigate. Proof comes in the form of pregnancies, medical issues and digital communications that go public. Assistant Becker County Attorney Kevin Miller says when cases like this come across his desk, his decision to prosecute is typically already determined by the statute. If the person being charged is an adult, they may be harsher.
That is one, long-lasting possibility that can come back to haunt a young person for years, including not being able to live on a college campus, getting certain jobs and public shame. Miller says he typically tries to avoid that, though, unless there is reason to think otherwise. One might think that tech-savvy teenagers would understand the gravity of sending nude or inappropriate photos of themselves to others, and yet investigators in Becker County say it happens all the time.
Under this distinction, those considered juveniles are usually but not always tried in juvenile court , and they may be afforded other special protections. For example, in some states a parent or guardian must be present during police questioning, or their names may be kept confidential when they are accused of a crime. For many crimes especially more violent crimes , the age at which a minor may be tried as an adult is variable below the age of 18 or less often below The death penalty for those who have committed a crime while under the age of 18 was discontinued by the U.
Supreme Court case Roper v. The twenty-sixth amendment to the U.
Constitution, ratified in , granted all citizens the right to vote in every state, in every election, from the age of Department of Defense took the position that they would not consider " enemy combatants " held in extrajudicial detention in the Guantanamo Bay detainment camps minors unless they were less than sixteen years old. Several dozen detainees between sixteen and eighteen were detained with the adult prison population.
Now those under 18 are kept separate, in line with the age of majority and world expectations.
Some states, including Florida , have passed laws that allow a person accused of an extremely heinous crime, such as murder, to be tried as an adult, regardless of age. These laws have been challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Take, for example, the widely publicized case of Marcus Dwayne Dixon, an year-old high school honor student and star football player who had sex with a year-old female classmate. It could mean jail time, it could mean having to register as a sex offender for 10 years. If they are incarcerated , they are sent to a Young Offender Institution. The exceptions are acts by which a minor merely acquires a right or is freed from a duty, acts that are strictly personal, and acts that are suitable to the person's condition in life and are required for their reasonable needs. Dagenhart History of youth rights in the United States Morse v.
An estimated , youth are tried, sentenced, or incarcerated as adults every year across the United States. Emancipation of minors is a legal mechanism by which a minor is no longer under the control of their parents or guardians, and is given the legal rights associated with adults.
Depending on country, emancipation may happen in different manners: In the United States, all states have some form of emancipation of minors. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the music festival of the same name, see Underage Festival. Dagenhart History of youth rights in the United States Morse v. Adam Fletcher activist David J. Males Neil Postman Sonia Yaco. Youth Criminal Justice Act. Minors detained in the global war on terror.
As used in this section, minor means a person under twenty-one 21 years of age. Juvenile crime is on the rise. Is it right or fair to treat and charge juveniles as adults? Retrieved June 13, Retrieved 9 August