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By 1920 ages of consent generally rose to 16-18 and small adjustments to these laws occurred after 1920. From 2005 onwards states have started to enact Jessica's Law statutes, which provide for lengthy penalties (often a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and lifetime electronic monitoring) for the most aggravated forms of child sexual abuse (usually of a child under age 12). Louisiana, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the death penalty for rape of a child was unconstitutional. Such a finding would allow the Court to issue orders as it finds necessary in dealing with the matter. 794.05 Unlawful sexual activity with certain minors.-- (1) A person 24 years of age or older who engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years of age commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. This law specifies that a defendant cannot be convicted on the testimony of the victim alone; some other evidence must be present.As of 2015 the final state to raise its age of general consent was Hawaii, which changed it from 14 to 16 in 2001. forbids the use of the United States Postal Service or other interstate or foreign means of communication, such as telephone calls or use of the internet, to persuade or entice a minor (defined as under 18 throughout the chapter) to be involved in a criminal sexual act. Consensual sexual intercourse over the 3-year age difference (where the minor is 13 to 15 years old) would subject the older party to a charge of Sexual Assault, 2nd Degree, in violation of C. This offense carries a minimum sentence of 1 year in prison, and a maximum of 20 years.

There was also a law which prohibited K-12 teachers from having sex with students under age 19, and violators could face prison time or get on the sex offender registry. However, there exist in the legislation defenses to prosecution if the defendant is close-in-age to the "victim" or a spouse of the "victim". Georgia was notoriously resistant to raising its age of consent in the Progressive Era.

The law also allows a mistake of age defense if the actor reasonably believed the victim was 16 or older.

The age limit rises to 18, according to IC35-42-4-7, if the actor is an adult who is the guardian, adoptive parent, adoptive grandparent, custodian, or stepparent of the minor; or a child care worker for the minor; or a military recruiter who is attempting to enlist over the minor.

In 2017, Alabama Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson, of Morgan County in the north of the state, ruled that this law was unconstitutional. Offenses Against the Person – Sexual Abuse of a Minor Section 436 in the First Degree (Unclassified Felony) ; Section 436 in the Second Degree (Class B Felony) ; Section 438 in the Third Degree (Class C Felony) ; Section 440 : in the Fourth Degree (Class A misdemeanor) AS . (a) An offender commits the crime of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree if (1) being 16 years of age or older, the offender engages in sexual penetration with a person who is 13, 14, or 15 years of age and at least three years younger than the offender, or aids, induces, causes or encourages a person who is 13, 14, or 15 years of age and at least three years younger than the offender to engage in sexual penetration with another person... Note: these are not close-in-age exceptions but defenses in court. The same conduct, entered into with an eighteen-year-old and without a belief that the prostitute was under eighteen years of age, would be a misdemeanor. In 1894, the Georgia Supreme Court reversed the conviction of a man convicted of raping a 10-year-old girl because the age of consent in Georgia was 10 at the time.

The age of consent is 16, provided the older partner is not in a position of authority. Arizona Revised Statute 13-1405(A) 13-1407 (Defenses) The age of consent in California is 18. Nonetheless, the Court recommended raising the Georgia age of consent, saying "the age of consent in many States is higher than in this State, and should be made higher here; and a committee of ladies" is petitioning to do that.