Closeup of mallet on open legal book at table in courtroom

County Prosecutor Says Consent is not a Defense in Underage Sex Crimes

April 17, 2018 - 7:37 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - In a felony case from March, a 21-year-old has sex with a 14 year old. The pair met on Facebook and agreed to meet up at his house. 

The Boone County prosecutor charged that man with second degree statutory rape. St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch says his office filed 70 such cases last year. Missouri does not have a so-called ‘Romeo and Juliet’ exemption, meaning when both individuals involved are under 17 and the acts are consensual.

“It is something that we take very seriously, I have seven prosecutors who are assigned to my sex crimes division, and that is all that they do, is sex crimes,” he says.

Some such cases come to light after the victim tells a friend who tells an adult or after the victim becomes an adult. In those cases, McCulloch says crime comes to light as the victim is dealing with other legal issues like DUI's or drug offenses.  

McCulloch believes the ‘Me Too’ movement is having an impact on women who were victimized early in life.