The age of consent is gender neutral and applies the same to both heterosexual and homosexual conduct.
But if Jen and Tony are and living in Texas, Tony need not fear criminal charges for having consensual sex with Jen.
This is because Texas has a marital exemption to the state’s statutory rape laws.
The marital defense is a remnant of the marital rape exemption.
Minors are legally incapable of giving consent to having sex; so for example, if Jen, a 15 year old willingly has sex with Tony, her 21 year old boyfriend, Tony can be charged with rape, since Jen is not legally capable of giving consent in the first place.
Though statutory rape does not require that the prosecutor prove force or violence, it is still rape.
Of course, rape that does involve force or an assault is illegal in Texas and prosecuted as forcible rape.
Legal Match has numerous defense attorneys in major Texas cities such as Houston available now to assist you!
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Legal Match matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case.
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.
Named after Shakespeare’s young lovers, “Romeo and Juliet” exceptions are intended to prevent serious criminal charges against teenagers who engage in consensual sex with others close to their own age.
Assaults of a sexual nature may also be charged under the state’s assault and battery laws (to learn more, see Aggravated Assault Laws in Texas and Sexual Battery: Laws and Penalties).