Your Guide to Georgia Statutory Rape Laws 

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Explore the complexities of Georgia’s statutory rape laws with Philip Kim Law, P.C. Learn about age of consent, legal defenses, and how our experienced team can help.


Author: Philip Kim, Founder, Philip Kim Law, P.C.

Defense lawyer Philip Kim has committed his career to standing up for the accused, and protecting the rights and reputations of his valued clients. If you face criminal charges in Georgia, we can provide you with the skilled, effective defense representation you need.

Published on February 21, 2024.


Understanding Statutory Rape in Georgia

Are you or someone you care about facing a statutory rape charge in Georgia? Sexual offenses carry significant consequences in the state, impacting both personal and professional realms.

Understanding Georgia’s statutory rape laws is crucial to grasp what actions constitute this offense. If you’re arrested for any sex crimes, including statutory rape, it may be a good idea to seek immediate legal counsel from experienced sex crime defense attorneys.

At Philip Kim Law, P.C., our statutory rape defense lawyers are well-versed in statutory rape law and possess extensive experience in handling sex offense cases. We offer thorough case evaluations, invaluable guidance, and steadfast representation throughout your trial.

In this comprehensive article, we delve into the nuances of statutory rape in Georgia, distinguishing it from other sex crimes, outlining the penalties for conviction, and exploring potential defenses against this charge.

Definition and Legal Framework


Engaging in sexual activities with a child under the age of 16 in Georgia can result in various sex offender charges, including statutory rape, sexual battery, and sodomy. Under OCGA § 16-6-3, individuals who have sexual intercourse with someone under 16 who is not their spouse can be charged with statutory rape.

The age of consent, also known as the under-16 rule, signifies the age at which a person is legally considered to have the mental capacity to consent to sexual activities. At 16 years old, individuals are deemed to possess the understanding necessary to comprehend the nature and consequences of engaging in sexual activities.

Differences Between Statutory Rape and Other Sexual Offenses

It is essential to understand how statutory rape is distinct from other types of sex offenses like sodomy, sexual battery, and aggravated sexual battery. The distinction cuts across the nature of the sexual act and the penalties for the offenses.

Sodomy: While statutory rape involves sexual intercourse (penetration of a male sex organ into a female sex organ) with a person under the age of 16 who has no capacity to consent to sex, sodomy is defined as the act of engaging in or consenting to any sexual activity involving the genitalia of one person and the mouth or anus of another.

Sexual Battery: A person commits the offense of sexual battery when they intentionally make sexual or physical contact with the intimate parts of another person whose age is below 16. 

Aggravated Sexual Battery: A person is guilty of the offense of aggravated sexual battery if an individual deliberately penetrates another person’s sexual organ or anus with an object without the person’s consent. In this context, a “foreign object” refers to any item or instrument other than the individual’s sexual organ.

Facing a conviction for any sexual misconduct or sex crime can have serious consequences. Consider seeking the assistance of a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible following your arrest for any sex offenses.

Legal Consequences of Statutory Rape in Georgia

Statutory rape is generally a felony in Georgia, and the penalty is severe. If convicted of statutory rape, the penalty is a minimum of one year and a maximum of 20 years in prison, depending on the circumstances of the case, such as the age of the parties involved.

If you are 21 or older, you may receive a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 20 years in prison. However, if you are 18 years old or younger, and the victim is at least 14 years old or less than 16, the offense of statutory rape is considered a misdemeanor, and you can face up to one year in jail and a fine of $1,000.

In addition to potential imprisonment, a statutory rape conviction can have lasting repercussions. It may hinder future job prospects as it remains on your criminal record, potentially not covered by the restrictions outlined in the Georgia 2nd Chance Act.

Defenses Against Statutory Rape Charges


Innocence: You can claim that someone else committed the crime of statutory rape you are charged with or that the alleged crime did not occur. To establish guilt for an offense, the prosecutor has to prove the defendant’s involvement in the alleged crime beyond reasonable doubt. Where it is proved that someone else other than you committed the alleged offense of statutory rape, you may be able to prevent a potential conviction.

Marriage: Furthermore, marriage between the minor and the defendant may serve as a defense against statutory rape charges. However, the defendant could still face charges of forcible rape if they coerce their spouse into non-consensual sexual activity.

Other potential defenses may include:

  • Challenging the evidence presented by the prosecution.

  • Questioning the credibility of witnesses.

  • Arguing that the sexual activity did not meet the legal definition of statutory rape under Georgia law.

In Georgia, mistake of age is not a valid defense in sex crime cases. Whether the minor misrepresented their age and the defendant believed them, or if the minor appeared older to the defendant, it does not absolve the defendant of responsibility.

Consider hiring a criminal defense attorney in statutory rape cases to determine the most effective defense strategy based on the specific circumstances of the case. Our criminal defense attorneys at Philip Kim Law, P.C. have a thorough knowledge of Georgia statutory rape law and are willing to help you evaluate your case effectively while exploring effective sex offense defense strategies for your case. 

Contact Philip Kim Law, P.C., for Assistance!

Understanding statutory rape laws is crucial when facing charges for this offense. Given the severe consequences of a statutory rape conviction and the limitations on record restrictions in Georgia in Georgia for sex crimes, it’s essential to seek legal representation from experienced criminal defense attorneys.

At Philip Kim Law, P.C., our adept attorneys are well-versed in statutory rape laws and are committed to providing comprehensive support throughout your sex crime case. We work diligently to explore effective defense strategies, represent you vigorously in court, and strive to achieve the most favorable outcome possible.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a free consultation today!

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Philip Kim Law, P.C.
368 West Pike Street, Suite 203
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
(678) 203-6968
Fax: (678) 273-3501
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