When underage teens have sex, they can be charged with sexual assault of a child under Wisconsin statutes. Dirks was speaking at the sentencing of Zackary Russell, who was 16 when he sexually assaulted two year-old girls he knew. He was dating one of the girls when he forced sex on her in an office at Craig High School, according to the criminal complaint. In a second assault, he had stopped seeing the same girl but went to her house and forcibly undressed and groped her, according to the complaint.
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Wisconsin’s Statutory Rape Laws and Potential Penalties
By Monica Steiner , Contributing Author. In Wisconsin, it is illegal for an adult someone 18 or older to have sex with a minor someone younger than 18 , even if the sex is consensual. Those who break the law have committed statutory rape. Statutory rape laws are premised on the assumption that minors are incapable of giving informed consent to sexual activities. The age of consent can vary among states, and some states differentiate between consensual sex between minors who are close in age for example, two teenagers of the same age , as opposed to sex between a minor and a much older adult. Though statutory rape does not require that the prosecutor prove an assault, it is still rape. Of course, rape that does involve force or an assault is illegal in Wisconsin and prosecuted as forcible rape. For information about rape between spouses, see our article on Marital Rape Laws. First degree sexual assault of a child occurs when there is sexual contact sexual touching, even over clothing, without penetration or intercourse sexual penetration, however slight, with an object or body part between a minor who is 12 or younger, and a defendant of any age.
By Monica Steiner , Contributing Author. Some states have enacted laws against sexting that occurs between teenagers, with penalties that are less severe than those that would apply to an adult who sends such photos to an under-age person. Other states punish sexting under pre-existing laws against child enticement and pornography. To learn more about sexting in general, see Teen Sexting.
Wondering what's going on in your state? See how your state stacks up on sexuality issues for teens. And don't forget to find out how to make a difference on these issues. Department of Health and Human Services, September Sex ed Rights Wisconsin state law does not require sexuality education. Local school boards decide whether or not to teach sex ed, which subjects this education must cover and the grade level in which topics are introduced. If sex ed is offered, abstinence must be covered and stressed as the only completely effective protection against unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases STDs.