Here in Nebraska, the age of consent is 16. That is the age at which the state believes that someone is old enough to understand the implications of engaging in sexual activity, and thus can legally give their consent to do so.
There’s no “Romeo and Juliet law,” which is another name for a close-in-age exemption, here in Nebraska. That means that if two teens have sex who are close in age — say 15 and 17 — then the 17-year-old could face statutory rape charges.
Penalties you could potentially face if convicted of statutory rape
The penalties associated with statutory rape charges may vary depending on whether a defendant is facing misdemeanor or felony charges as well as factors such as the age difference between the alleged perpetrator and their victim. A charge involving sexual assault of a child can be either a Class 1C or 3A felony, depending on the nature of the offense. This crime is punishable by a $10,000 fine and can bring anywhere from a 1- to a 50-year prison term.
The penalties are stiff for individuals convicted of statutory rape or other similar offenses. That makes it all the more important to pursue a strong defense strategy to refute prosecutors’ allegations in your case.