Sex Crimes Against Minors

What is the age of consent in Michigan?

The "age of consent" is the chronological age defined by law in which a person is permitted to engage in legal sexual activity with a partner who is also of the age of consent without the risk of prosecution for statutory rape.

In Michigan, the age of consent is 16.

What is statutory rape?

Statutory rape is a crime in which the alleged perpetrator engages in sexual acts of any kind, including, but not limited to those involving penetration, with a person under the age of consent (a minor).

It does not matter if the minor claims to have consented as Michigan law considers anyone under the age of 16 not mature enough to make the decision to have “consensual” sexual relations.

Anyone, even another minor, who engages in sex with someone under the Age of Consent, could be prosecuted for statutory rape.

What is the statute of limitations for sex crimes involving a minor?

The statute of limitations for certain sex crimes involving a minor, including sexual abuse or assault of a minor is 10 years from the incident, or until the minor turns 21, whichever is later. Certain exceptions may apply when DNA evidence is involved.

What is the statute of limitation for rape of a minor in Michigan?

Michigan law has no statute of limitations for prosecuting for the rape of a minor.

Statute of Limitations for Indictment of Sex Crimes Involving a Minor When DNA Evidence Is Involved

Availability of DNA evidence in sexual assault cases involving minors can alter the statute of limitations on indictment in Michigan. Depending on the nature of the sex crime, if DNA evidence identifies a perpetrator, the statute of limitations on sex crimes may be extended, or eliminated.

However, once DNA identifies a specific perpetrator, indictment must be filed within ten years after the individual is identified, or, by the alleged victim’s 21st birthday, whichever is greater. The exception is for rape of a minor, for which there is no statute of limitations.

Penalties for Sex Acts Involving Penetration with a Minor Child

Under Michigan law, § 750. 520b et seq.:

  • Under Age 13: Sexual penetration with someone under age 13 is considered a felony crime of first degree and is considered criminal sexual conduct (CSC). It is and is punishable by up to life in prison. Indictment can be filed at any time; there is no statute of limitations in Michigan for first degree CSC involving a minor.

  • Over Age 13, Under Age 16: Sexual penetration with someone between age 13 and 16 is considered a felony crime of third degree criminal sexual conduct and is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Will I be added to the Public Sex Offenders Registry for being convicted of statutory rape?

Any adult convicted of statutory rape will be registered publicly as a sex offender. Additionally, convictions for criminal sexual conduct (CSC) crimes in Michigan mean:

  • First Degree CSC: Lifetime registration on sex offender list
  • Second Degree CSC: Lifetime registration on sex offender list
  • Third Degree CSC: Twenty-five years registration on sex offender list
  • Fourth Degree CSC: Twenty-five years registration on sex offender list

Romeo & Juliet Laws in Michigan

There is one possible exception to the requirement of public registration as a sex offender for a conviction of statutory rape that falls under the “Romeo & Juliet” law which took effect in Michigan on July 1, 2011.

A person found guilty of statutory rape of a minor may be exempt from having his or her name registered publicly as a sex offender if the following legal requirements are met:

  • The alleged victim was between the ages of 13 and 16; and

  • There was no more than four years of age difference between the partners; and

  • The sex act was consensual by the minor.

Reporting Requirements by Medical Providers

Michigan law requires medical providers, including doctors and nurse practitioners, to report all cases to proper authorities if they treat a child under the age of 12 years who is pregnant or who has a sexually transmitted disease.


Contact us for a free, confidential phone consultation about the charges you are facing or fill out our contact form. The attorneys at Grabel & Associates defend clients in all 83 counties in Michigan.

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