The Idaho Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee has approved a measure that would exclude relationships between consenting teenagers from Idaho’s statutory rape laws.
The measure, brought by Rexburg Republican Sen. Brent Hill, would decriminalize sex between teenage girls aged 16 or 17 with partners up to three years older than them.
Current state law considers statutory rape – sex with a woman under 18 – comparable to other forms of rape, with punishment ranging from one year to a life sentence. Hill says there should be separation between statutory rape and forcible rape.
The change to state law would allow consensual sex between 16-year-old girls and boys up to age 19, and 17-year-old girls and boys up to age 20. Sexual acts with children under 16 are punishable by lewd conduct laws.
Currently, only men can be prosecuted under Idaho’s rape laws. Hill says only four other states’ rape laws are not gender neutral, and his proposal would change the state’s laws dealing with the rape of men to include a similar age limit.
The measure now goes to the full Senate. (Idaho Reporter.com)