Delaware -- Age of Consent

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Added 03-2002:
To Whom It May Concern,
I visited your website for the first time yesterday, only to find out that I am not old enough to date my boyfriend anymore. I am 15 , yet a very old soul. I have been through so much in my life and the only good thing about it happens to be my 19 year old boyfriend. His mother and family assumed I was older but, she found out my age yesterday and told my boyfriend that he could go to jail over me. I love him more than anyone could ever imagine and he feels the same about me. Unfortunately, he has decided to stop seeing me because of the risk that he is taking. I will be 16 in December and he will be 20 in January. Is there any way around this law in Delaware? Please contact me back, I feel like I cant go on without him in my life.

 

 

Delaware is not an easy state to search.  So far I have been unable to locate the statutes on line.  This is the most I have located and I do not know if the law was passed.  

[EDITOR NOTE:  11/8/99 - One astute surfer found the online laws for us.   Thank you. 

761. Definitions generally applicable to sexual offenses.
Going to http://www.state.de.us/research/assembly.htm
and taking the Legislative Library link http://www.state.de.us/research/library/library.htm
to the Code of Laws link http://www.state.de.us/research/dor/code.htm gets you a note that you can get the code at Lexis http://www.lexislawpublishing.com/resources/ where you can find Delaware laws "current as of the 1998 regular session". This "Delaware Code Unannotated" lets you reach Title 11, "Crimes and Criminal Procedure",   then Chapter 5,"Specific Offenses".

(a) "Cunnilingus" means any oral contact with the female genitalia.
(b) "Fellatio" means any oral contact with the male genitalia.
(c) "Object" means any item, device, instrument, substance or any part of the body. It does not
mean a medical instrument used by a licensed medical doctor or nurse for the purpose of diagnosis
or treatment.
(d) "Sexual offense" means any offense defined by 761-775 and 1108-1112A of this title.
(e) "Sexual intercourse" means:
(1) Any act of physical union of the genitalia or anus of 1 person with the mouth, anus or genitalia of
another person. It occurs upon any penetration, however slight. Ejaculation is not required. This
offense encompasses the crimes commonly known as rape and sodomy; or
(2) Any act of cunnilingus or fellatio regardless of whether penetration occurs. Ejaculation is not
required.
(f) "Sexual contact" means any intentional touching of the anus, breast, buttocks or genitalia of
another person, which touching, under the circumstances as viewed by a reasonable person, is
sexual in nature. Sexual contact shall also include touching of those specified areas when covered by
clothing.
(g) "Sexual penetration" means:
(1) The unlawful placement of an object, as defined in subsection (c) of this section, inside the anus
or vagina of another person; or
(2) The unlawful placement of the genitalia or any sexual device inside the mouth of another person.
(h) "Without consent" means:
(1) The defendant compelled the victim to submit by any act of coercion as defined in 791 and
792 of this title, or by force, by gesture, or by threat of death, physical injury, pain or kidnapping to be inflicted upon the victim or a third party, or by any other means which would compel a reasonable person under the circumstances to submit. It is not required that the victim resist such force or threat to the utmost, or to resist if resistance would be futile or foolhardy, but the victim need resist only to the extent that it is reasonably necessary to make the victim's refusal to consent known to the defendant; or
(2) The defendant knew that the victim was unconscious, asleep or otherwise unaware that a sexual
act was being performed; or
(3) The defendant knew that the victim suffered from a mental illness or mental defect which
rendered the victim incapable of appraising the nature of the sexual conduct; or
(4) Where the defendant is a health professional, as defined herein, or a minister, priest, rabbi or
other member of a religious organization engaged in pastoral counseling, the commission of acts of
sexual contact, sexual penetration or sexual intercourse by such person shall be deemed to be
without consent of the victim where such acts are committed under the guise of providing
professional diagnosis, counseling or treatment and where at the times of such acts the victim
reasonably believed the acts were for medically or professionally appropriate diagnosis, counseling
or treatment, such that resistance by the victim could not reasonably have been manifested. For
purposes of this paragraph, "health professional" includes all individuals who are licensed or who
hold themselves out to be licensed or who otherwise provide professional physical or mental health
services, diagnosis, treatment or counseling and shall include, but not be limited to, doctors of
medicine and osteopathy, dentists, nurses, physical therapists, chiropractors, psychologists, social
workers, medical technicians, mental health counselors, substance abuse counselors, marriage and
family counselors or therapists and hypnotherapists; or
(5) The defendant had substantially impaired the victim's power to appraise or control the victim's
own conduct by administering or employing without the other person's knowledge or against the
other person's will, drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance.
(i) "Position of trust, authority or supervision over a child" includes, but is not limited to:
(1) Familial or custodial authority or supervision; or
(2) A teacher, instructor, coach, babysitter, day care provider, or aide or any other person having
regular direct contact with children through affiliation with a school, church or religious institution,
athletic or charitable organization or any other organization, whether such a person is compensated
or acting as a volunteer.
(j) A child who has not yet reached his or her sixteenth birthday is deemed unable to consent to a sexual act with a person more than 4 years older than said child. Children who have not yet reached their twelfth birthday are deemed unable to consent to a sexual act under any circumstances.

762. Provisions generally applicable to sexual offenses.
(a) Mistake as to age. Whenever in the definition of a sexual offense, the criminality of conduct
depends on whether the person has reached his or her sixteenth birthday, it is no defense that the
actor did not know the person's age, or that the actor reasonably believed that the person had
reached his or her sixteenth birthday.
(b) Gender. Unless a contrary meaning is clearly required, the male pronoun shall be deemed to
refer to both male and female.
(c) Separate acts of sexual contact, penetration and sexual intercourse. Nothing in this title
precludes a defendant from being charged with separate offenses when multiple acts of sexual
contact, penetration or intercourse are committed against the same victim.
(d) Teenage defendant. As to sexual offenses in which the victim's age is an element of the offense
because the victim has not yet reached his or her sixteenth birthday, where the person committing the
sexual act is no more than 4 years older than the victim, it is an affirmative defense that the victim
consented to the act "knowingly" as defined in 231 of this title. Sexual conduct pursuant to this
section will not be a crime. This affirmative defense will not apply if the victim had not yet reached his or her twelfth birthday at the time of the act.

 

770. Rape in the fourth degree; class C felony.
(a) A person is guilty of rape in the fourth degree when the person:
(1) Intentionally engages in sexual intercourse with another person, and the victim has not yet
reached his or her sixteenth birthday; or


[EDITOR NOTE:  We highlighted this in red as it is highly unusual!]

(2) Intentionally engages in sexual intercourse with another person, and the victim has not yet reached his or her eighteenth birthday, and the person is 30 years of age or older, except that such intercourse shall not be unlawful if the victim and person are married at the time of such intercourse; or

(3) Intentionally engages in sexual penetration with another person under any of the following
circumstances:
a. The sexual penetration occurs without the victim's consent; or
b. The victim has not reached his or her sixteenth birthday; or
(4) Intentionally engages in sexual intercourse or sexual penetration with another person, and the
victim has reached his or her sixteenth birthday but has not yet reached his or her eighteenth birthday
and the defendant stands in a position of trust, authority or supervision over the child, or is an invitee
or designee of a person who stands in a position of trust, authority or supervision over the child.

774, 775. Unlawful sexual intercourse in the second degree; class B felony; unlawful
sexual intercourse in the first degree; class A felony. 
Repealed by 71 Del. Laws, c. 285, 12 and 13, eff. Sept. 9, 1998.

[EDITOR NOTE:  We assume this was repeated when the rape law was strengthened]

And since we receive these questions as well:

777. Bestiality.
A person is guilty of bestiality when the person intentionally engages in any sexual act involving sexual contact, penetration or intercourse with the genitalia of an animal or intentionally causes another person to engage in any such sexual act with an animal for purposes of sexual gratification.
Bestiality is a class D felony. (69 Del. Laws, c. 91, 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, 1.)

 

 

 

This bill was introduced 6/17/98.

STATUS OF  BILL:
http://www.state.de.us/cgi-bin/fetch.cgi/govern/agencies/legis/lis/139/

 

 

SPONSOR: Sen. Bonini

DELAWARE STATE SENATE

139TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

SENATE BILL NO. __399__

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE AGE OF CONSENT.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend 761(j), 762(a), 762(d), 770(a), 771(a), 772(a) and 773(a), Title 11, Delaware Code by deleting "sixteenth" as it appears each time therein, and by inserting in lieu thereof each time "eighteenth".


Section 2. Amend 773(c), Title 11, Delaware Code by deleting "16th" as it appears therein and by inserting in lieu thereof "18th".

Section 3. Amend 770(a), Title 11, Delaware Code by deleting paragraphs (2) and (4) thereof in their entirety, by renumbering paragraph (3) thereof as (2) and by deleting "; or" at the end of newly redesignated paragraph (2) thereof and inserting in lieu thereof ".".


Section 4. Amend 762, Title 11, Delaware Code by adding thereto as follows:
"(e) Married couples - Sexual acts which would only be sexual offenses due to the age of the victim shall not be unlawful if the victim was married to the perpetrator at the time of such sexual acts."

SYNOPSIS
This Bill raises the age of consent from 16 to 18
, deletes the 2 existing provisions which included 16 and 17 years olds (since all provisions now apply to 16 and 17 year olds), and creates a general marriage waiver (if the couple is married there is no "statutory rape").

Author: Sen. Bonini

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Unlawful Sexual Contact in the First Degree - Section 769 (a) A person is guilty of unlawful sexual contact in the first degree when, in the course of committing unlawful sexual contact in the third degree or in the course of committing unlawful sexual contact in the second degree, or during the immediate flight from the crime, or during an attempt to prevent the reporting of the crime, the person causes physical injury to the victim or the person displays what appears to be a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
(b) Unlawful sexual contact in the first degree is a class F felony.


Unlawful Sexual Contact in the Second Degree - Section 768 (a) A person is guilty of unlawful sexual contact in the second degree when the person intentionally has sexual contact with another person who is less than 16 years of age or causes the victim to have sexual contact with the person or a third person.
(b) Unlawful sexual contact in the second degree is a class G felony.


Unlawful Sexual Contact in the Third Degree - Section 767 (a) A person is guilty of unlawful sexual contact in the third degree when the person has sexual contact with another person or causes the victim to have sexual contact with the person or a third person and the person knows that the contact is either offensive to the victim or occurs without the victim's consent.
(b) Unlawful sexual contact in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.



Unlawful Sexual Penetration in the First Degree - Section 772 (a) A person is guilty of an unlawful sexual penetration in the first degree when the person intentionally places 1 or more fingers or thumbs or an object, as defined by 761(c) of this title, inside the vagina or anus of a person under any of the following circumstances:
The sexual penetration occurs without the victim's consent and during the commission of the crime, or during the immediate flight from the crime, or during an attempt to prevent the reporting of the crime, the person causes serious physical injury to the victim; or
The victim is less than 16 years old and during the commission of the crime, or during the immediate flight from the crime, or during an attempt to prevent the reporting of the crime, the person causes serious physical injury to the victim; or
The sexual pernetration occurs without the victim's consent during the commission of the crime, or during the immediate flight from the crime, or during an attempt to prevent the reporting of the crime, the person displays what appears to be a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument; or
The victim is less than 16 years old and during the commission of the crime, or during the immediate flight from the crime, or during an attempt to prevent the reporting of the crime, the person displays what appears to be a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument.
(b) This section does not apply to a licensed doctor or nurse who places 1 or more fingers or an object inside the vagina or anus for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment. Nothing contained in this section shall preclude a separate charge, conviction and sentence for possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony.
(c) Unlawful sexual penetration in the first degree is a class C felony.


Unlawful Sexual Penetration in the Second Degree - Section 771 (a) A person is guilty of unlawful sexual penetration in the second degree when a person intentionally places 1 or more fingers or thumbs or an object, as defined by 761(c) of this title, inside the vagina or anus of a person under any of the following circumstances:
The sexual penetration occurs without the victim's consent and during the commission of the crime, or during the immediate flight from the crime, or during an attempt to prevent the reporting of the crime, the person causes physical injury to the victim; or
The victim is less than 16 years old and during the commission of the crime, or during the immediate flight from the crime, or during an attempt to prevent the reporting of the crime, the person causes physical injury to the victim.
(b) This section does not apply to a licensed medical doctor or nurse who places 1 or more fingers or an object inside a vagina or anus for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment.
(c) Unlawful sexual penetration in the second degree is a class D felony


Unlawful Sexual Penetration in the Third Degree - Section 770 (a) A person is guilty of unlawful sexual penetration in the third degree when the person intentionally places 1 or more fingers or thumbs or an object, as defined by 761(c) of this title, inside the vagina or anus of a person under any of the following circumstances:
The sexual penetration occurs without the victim's consent; or
The victim is less than 16 years old.
(b) This law does not apply to a licensed medical doctor or nurse who places 1 or more fingers or an object inside a vagina or anus for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment.
(c) Unlawful sexual penetration in the third dense is a class E felony



Unlawful Sexual Intercourse in the First Degree - Section 775 (a) A person is guilty of unlawful sexual intercourse in the first degree when the person intentionally engages in sexual intercourse with another person and any of the following circumstances exist:
The intercourse occurs without the victim's consent, and the person inflicts serious physical, mental or emotional injury upon the victim:
On the occasion of the crime; or
During the immediate flight from the crime; or
During an attempt to prevent the reporting of the crime; or
The intercourse occurs without the victim's consent and the defendant was not the victim's voluntary social companion on the occasion of the crime and had not permitted the defendant sexual intercourse within the previous 12 months; or
In the course of committing unlawful sexual intercourse in the third degree or unlawful sexual intercourse in the second degree, the defendant displayed what appeared to be a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument; or
The victim is less than 16 years of age and the defendant is not the victim's voluntary social companion on the occasion of the crime.
(b) Nothing contained in this section shall preclude a separate charge, conviction and sentence for possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony.
(c) Unlawful sexual intercourse in the first degree is a class A felony.


Unlawful Sexual Intercourse in the Second Degree - Section 774 (a) A person is guilty of unlawful sexual intercourse in the second degree when the person intentionally engages in sexual intercourse with another person and any of the following circumstances exist:
The intercourse occurs without the victim's consent and the person inflicts physical, mental or emotional injury upon the victim:
On the occasion of the crime; or
During the immediate flight from the crime; or
During an attempt to prevent the reporting of the crime; or
The intercourse occurs without the victim's consent and the defendant was not the victim's voluntary social companion on the occasion of the crime.
(b) Unlawful sexual intercourse in the second degree is a class B felony. Notwithstanding any proportion of this title to the contrary, the minimum sentence for a person convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse in the second degree in violation of this section shall be 10 years at Level V.


Unlawful Sexual Intercourse in the Third Degree - Section 773 (a) A person is guilty of unlawful sexual intercourse in the third degree when the person intentionally engages in sexual intercourse with another person and any of the following circumstances exist:
The intercourse occurs without the victim's consent; or
The victim is less than 16 years of age.
(b) Unlawful sexual intercourse in the third degree is a class C felony.

 

 

 

07-2000 New Source: U.S. statutory rape laws is published on the Web by the National
Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information. The booklet, which
requires Adobe Acrobat to read, is located at:


http://www.calib.com/nccanch/pubs/99statutes/35-SexualOffenses.PDF

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