This most recent case has apparently gained internet traction in the public view only because it involves teenagers of the same sex.Florida prosecutors have for decades been charging mostly heterosexual teenage males with the sex offense “lewd and lascivious assault or battery” upon their teenage girlfriends.As a general rule, an adult cannot engage in sexual acts with a minor, even if they are dating.Continue Reading Florida state laws define unlawful sexual activity with minors.There you can find that in the state of Georgia, "a person commits the offense of statutory rape when he or she engages in sexual intercourse with any person under the age of 16 years and is not his or her spouse." The law goes on to spell out that "if the victim is at least 14 but less than 16 years of age and the person convicted of statutory rape is 18 or younger and is no more than four years older than the victim, such person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor." This means that a 17-year-old convicted of having sexual contact with a 14-year-old in Georgia, would be guilty of a misdemeanor.It is normal for older teens to be attracted to younger teens, but parents and teens should be aware of certain stipulations in the law.The girl's mother pressed charges, and Gorby ended up guilty of lewd and lascivious battery on a minor. Nicknamed the "Romeo and Juliet" law, it allows judges the discretion to weigh crimes like Gorby's with the lifelong punishment that comes with being labeled a sex offender.
According to the Sex Laws website, these laws do not specifically address an adult under the age of 24 who engages in sexual behaviors with a 17-year-old minor.In the eyes of the law minors lack the capacity to make the decision to give their consent for sex.Some exceptions to this age of consent requirement exist, such as, if the couple is married, or if the minor is legally emancipated.One explanation might be the approach of Pinellas-Pasco Public Defender Bob Dillinger and Pinellas County sheriff's detectives.The Sheriff's Office devotes a unit of eight detectives to monitoring the county's sexual offenders and predators.