Costa Rica - Age of Sexual Consent
Costa Rica San José
Artículo 173 Sodomía del Código Penal
EDITOR NOTE: None of us speak Spanish and we have not had any luck in finding someone with EXCELLENT translation skills. We believe we have the law documented (and have used mechanical translators) but we are still not confident of the outcome. We would like to find a bi-lingual (Spanish and English) person interested in finding the applicable laws and providing us with the SPANISH and ENGLISH -- paragraph by paragraph. Thank you.
EDITOR NOTE: Received 11/2/00: We received this email:
"Legal age of consent is 18 years of age. Intercourse with a minor 15 or younger
is statutory rape punished with
FIRST - this article contradicts itself. If the legal age of consent was 18, the intercourse with a minor 18 or younger would be statutory rape -- NOT 15 as it states. This simply reinforces our statement that age of consent is 15. Otherwise, what is the time from age 15 to 18 defined as? SECOND - this writer offered no link to the Penal Code, indicating further that he or she does not have the actual statute.
EDITOR NOTE: Received 1/10/2000
Age of consent in Costa Rica : 15
Next, you can choose country on the left window.
In the right window, type the word "estupro" (which is rape) on the frase field.
Then press the "Buscar" (submit?? or search??) button.
[EDITOR NOTE: 12/6/99: The following email was received]
The legal age of sexual consent for a female in COSTA RICA is 16 years old. The legal age for her to marry without her parents permission is 18 years old. This is straight out of the Legal Code. The recent sex offenders (child prostitution) expose in Costa Rica, dramatized recently on all the major networks, clearly reported that a minor was considered to be 15 years old or less. Hope this helps you. Your chart shows 15 as the age of consent and this is wrong.
Email Received 03-2001:
You ask that I provide you with substanciation that the age of sexual consent in Costa Rica is 16. I relay the following. Upon request the following was received today from Juan Carlos Murillo, a Costa Rican Attorney
Replying to your e-mail please be advised that sex is not a crime with persons over 15, but they need their parents consent to marry up till 18. The following two articles are extracted from the Criminal Code (Law in Costa Rica). One refers to regular intercourse (including consenting intercourse), the second refers to remunerated intercourse (prostitution or where money is given to have sex with anyone younger than 18 years old). Though the code is not always clear these laws have been established through numerous court cases. Hope it helps.
Relaciones sexuales con personas menores de edad ARTÍCULO 159.- Quien, aprovechándose de la edad, se haga acceder otenga acceso carnal por vía oral, anal o vaginal, con una persona decualquier sexo, mayor de doce años y menor de quince, aun con su consentimiento, será sancionado con pena de prisión de dos a seis años.
Igual pena se impondrá si la acción consiste en introducir, por vía vaginal o anal uno o varios dedos u objetos. La pena será de cuatro a diez años de prisión cuando la víctima sea mayor de doce años y menor de dieciocho, y el agente tenga respecto de ella la condición de ascendiente, tío, tía, hermano o hermana consanguíneos o afines, tutor o guardador.
(Así reformado por el artículo 1º de la ley No.7899 de 3 de agosto de 1999)
Transulation Sexual relations with minors - ARTICLE 159. Anyone who, taking advantage of the age, has sexual access by oral, anal or vaginal channel, with a person of any sex, greater than twelve years old and less than fifteen (minor), even with his/her consent, will be subject to a prison sentence of two to six years. The same sentence will prevail if the action consists of introducing, by vaginal or anal channel one or several fingers or objects. The sentence may be four to ten years in prison when the victim is greater of twelve years and minor of eighteen, and the person committing the offense is the uncle, aunt, brother or sister, tutor or teacher, or guardian. (Thus reformed by the article 1º of the law No.7899 of 3 of August of 1999)
Relaciones sexuales remuneradas con personas menores de edad -ARTÍCULO 160.- Quien pague a una persona menor de edad de cualquier sexo o prometa pagarle o darle a cambio una ventaja económica o de otranaturaleza, para que ejecute actos sexuales o eróticos, será sancionado
1) Con pena de prisión de cuatro a diez años si la persona ofendidaes menor de doce años.
2) Con pena de prisión de tres a ocho años, si la persona ofendida es mayor de doce años, pero menor de quince.
3) Con pena de prisión de dos a seis años, si la persona ofendida es mayor de quince años, pero menor de dieciocho.
(Así reformado por el artículo 1º de la ley No.7899 de 3 de agosto de 1999)
TRANSULATION Sexual relations with minor people where there is renumeration - ARTICLE 160. - Whoever pays a minor person of any sex or promises to pay or to give him/her in return an economic favor of another nature, so that he/she executes sexual or erotic acts, will be sentenced 1) With prison sentence of four to ten years if the victim is less than twelve years old. 2) With prison sentence of three to eight years, if the victim is greater than twelve years old, but less than fifteen. 3) With prison sentence of two to six years, if the victim is fifteen years old to eighteen. (Thus reformed by the article 1º of the law No.7899 of 3 of August of 1999)
PS. Interpol Files state the following laws for age of consent in Costa Rica
" The prison sentence for sex with a minor will be six months to three years, for anyone that induces a woman of twelve years up to fifteen years old (minor) to have sex with their consent " (This probably closer approximates actual court cases rather Penal Codes)
Hope all this helps, and that for the protection of all persons visiting Costa Rica, they make very sure how old a girl/boy is before getting sexually involved. Many girls often develop rapidly and can look older than their actual age.
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