And for information about rape between spouses, see Arkansas Marital Rape Laws.
Statutory rape is prosecuted under Arkansas’s rape and sexual assault laws, and penalties depend on the ages of the defendant and victim, as described below.
This is because Arkansas has a marital exemption to the Arkansas statutory rape laws.
However, if Tony were to rape Jen (force her to have sex against her will), he would have no protection under the law even if the two are married.
They may argue that the victim herself represented that she was older than she was, and that a reasonable person would have believed her.
But in Arkansas, even a reasonable mistake as to the victim's age will not be a defense to a charge of statutory rape.
Minors are legally incapable of giving consent to having sex; so for example, if Jen, a 13 year old willingly has sex with Tony, her 19 year old boyfriend, Tony can be charged with rape, since Jen is not legally capable of giving consent in the first place.
But if Jen and Tony are and living in Arkansas, Tony need not fear criminal charges for having consensual sex with Jen.
Defendants accused of statutory rape often claim that they had no reason to know that their partner was underage.But if these teens are having sex, and you live in a state where prosecutors aggressively enforce the law, it’s possible that your son could be charged with statutory rape.Take, for example, the widely publicized case of Marcus Dwayne Dixon, an 18-year-old high school honor student and star football player who had sex with a 15-year-old female classmate.She claimed it was rape, he claimed it was consensual, and a jury acquitted him of the charges.However, because of their age difference, the jury still found Dixon guilty of statutory rape and aggravated child molestation, and sentenced him to a mandatory 10 years in prison under Georgia law.