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By 1920 ages of consent generally rose to 16-18 and small adjustments to these laws occurred after 1920. From 2005 onwards states have started to enact Jessica's Law statutes, which provide for lengthy penalties (often a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and lifetime electronic monitoring) for the most aggravated forms of child sexual abuse (usually of a child under age 12). Louisiana, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the death penalty for rape of a child was unconstitutional.

The age of consent can vary among states, and some states 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 an assault, it is still rape.

This page supplements the content available at Washington Law Help.

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