Statutory rape laws are based on the age of consent, meaning the age at which legislators feel a person can reasonably consent to participate in a sexual act.The age of consent varies from state to state – in some states it’s 18, in others it’s 14. This means that any adult (a person over the age of 18) cannot have sexual relations with a person under the age of 16, even if it is consensual.
If the sexual activity was by force and was non-consensual, then the person can be charged with first or second degree rape rather than statutory rape.
This is because North Carolina feels that a 16 year old is incapable of making that type of informed decision.
Those that break this law have broken the state’s statutory rape law.
Indecent Liberties Between Children – Any person under the age of 16 that willfully takes or attempts to take immoral, improper, or indecent liberties or commits a sexual act with a child at least three years younger.
First Degree Rape – Vaginal intercourse between a minor who is 12 or younger, and a defendant who is 12 or older at least four years older than the victim.