The Limitations of Youth

February 28th, 2015 by Attorney Dan Carman

Lexington Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney

Under the mistaken impression that grown-ups can do whatever they want, many kids are in a hurry to grow up.

Focusing more on the freedoms than the responsibilities of adulthood, it’s almost impossible for children not to be affected by the sexual innuendo and the glorification of crime prevalent in the media and pop culture. Lack of parental supervision, drug or alcohol misuse, low family income, lack of impulse control and social isolation are just a few of the additional factors that can lead a youngster into trouble.

Teenaged Bonnie and Clyde

For a few days recently, authorities across the country were on the lookout for a “teenaged Bonnie and Clyde” after they disappeared from Leitchfield, KY. After two weeks, 18-year-old Dalton Hayes and the 13-year-old girl he had been dating for about three months, Cheyenne Phillips, were found sleeping in a car in Florida and arrested.

With their alleged crime spree spanning five southern states, the pair was suspected of using forged checks and stealing vehicles (two of which had guns inside). In addition to facing previous burglary and theft charges, Hayes has now also been charged with statutory rape, though he claims that Phillips said she was 18 and had an (fake) ID to prove it. Meanwhile, Phillips is expected to face charges in juvenile court.

Age of Consent in Kentucky

Statutory rape laws exist to protect minors who are said to be incapable of consenting to sexual activities due to their lack of experiences to make mature decisions.

Even if minors consent, adults cannot engage in sexual activities with them because of the imbalance of power.

The age of consent varies between the states from a minimum of 16 to a maximum of 18. The age of consent in Kentucky is 16 (unless the scenario involves someone who met the victim through a “position of trust,” in which case the age of consent is 18), so Phillips at the age of 13 is considered a minor unable to legally agree to sexual activities.

If you have been charged with statutory rape or have questions about how the law might apply to your situation, discuss it with one of the attorneys at the Lexington, KY-based Carman Law Firm. As criminal defense attorneys with years of experience, we offer thorough, experienced representation. Call today at (859) 685-1055 or fill out this online contact form to find out how we can help you.