What Are the Statutory Rape Laws in Georgia?

Brandon Bullard
December 20, 2022

In Georgia, if you have sexual relations with someone under 16, you can face possible charges for statutory rape. The 2010 Georgia Code § 16-6-3 states that the age of consent for sexual relations is 16.

If you are an adult aged 16 and older and engage in sexual intercourse with someone below 16, you could be held accountable for your actions. There are certain exceptions, though, which is why it is crucial to understand how statutory laws in Georgia work.

What is Considered Statutory Rape in Georgia?

Under Georgia's statutory rape laws, a person can be charged with a statutory rape offense if they have sexual relations with:

  • An individual who is 16 years or younger
  • That individual is not their spouse

It should be noted that consent is not a defense to statutory rape. This is because anyone under the age of 16 cannot consent to sex, according to Georgia law.

In Georgia, statutory rape offenses can range from serious felonies to less serious misdemeanors. Punishments for these crimes vary based on the age of the defendant. A conviction of statutory rape in Georgia is considered a felony.

If the defendant is 21 years or younger and is convicted of this type of crime, they will face a penalty of ten to twenty years in prison. If the defendant is 21 years old or older, the offense will be punishable by ten to twenty years in prison.

If the person convicted of statutory rape is under 18 years, the crime may be considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to twelve months in jail plus a fine not exceeding $1,000.

What are the Common Defenses Against Statutory Rape?

Romeo and Juliet laws

Romeo and Juliet laws are meant to prevent young couples from being convicted of a felony for engaging in consensual sex. A statutory rape crime may be classified as a misdemeanor if specific conditions are met, including:

  • The victim is between 14 and 16 years
  • The defendant is 18 years or younger
  • The person who committed the crime is no more than four years than the victim


Under Georgia's statutory law, it is not a crime if the victim and defendant are a couple. But you can still be found guilty of statutory rape if you force your spouse to have sexual intercourse against their will.

Incorrect Age 

While this might not be a defense, it can be used to reduce the punishment. Your attorney can argue that you were reasonable in believing the victim was of age when consenting.

Contact The Bullard Firm Today for Help

The Bullard Firm is committed to providing the best defense for your sex crime case in Georgia. If you believe that you are eligible for sex offender registry removal in Georgia, we encourage you to call our office and schedule a consultation with an an attorney.

Contact us at (404) 954-0598 to schedule a consultation and discuss your case detail with our lead attorney, Brandon Bullard.