The issue of statutory rape is one that has been cropping up throughout the country in a number of headline-grabbing scenarios, prompting some advocates to urge a a closer look at these laws and whether they may be too harsh.
In D.C., it's illegal for anyone who is in adult (over the age of 18) to have sex with anyone who is 14 or younger.
If you are arrested for statutory rape in D.C., you may be facing as many as 30 years behind bars.
This is the case even if the relationship was consensual and you were 17 when the relationship started, but have since turned 18 and your girlfriend or boyfriend has not yet turned 15.
That's exactly what is happening right now in Florida, in the case of an 18-year-old girl who is facing two felony counts of lewd lascivious battery of a child. The two teens knew each other from school and were even on the same basketball team. But the minute the older teen turned 18, any sexual contact between the two was considered illegal.
The primary reason this case has gained so much attention is because the two teens in this case were both females, prompting LGBT advocates to decry the fact that the parents only pressed charges because they were upset their daughter had engaged in lesbian activity.
The older girl was kicked off the team, expelled from school and faces up to 15 years in prison. She rejected a plea deal that would have forced her plead guilty to a lesser offense and serve two years of house arrest.
Meanwhile in Mississippi, lawmakers have passed a measure that will require both doctors and midwives to save the umbilical cord blood from babies born to mothers who are younger than 16. From there, officials will analyze the samples and attempt to identify the father of the baby through the state's DNA database.
(You may also be interested to know that the U.S. Supreme Court recently broadened the rights of law enforcement officers to collect DNA samples from those arrested for serious crimes, meaning we'll likely be seeing more of these statutory rape cases as well.)
The goal, state lawmakers say, is to deter men over the age of 21 from having sex with girls 16 and younger.
But that leaves out the argument that many of these teens consented to these acts. They do not consider themselves victims and they never reported a crime, and in many cases, neither have their parents.
Mississippi's statutory rape law is a bit stricter than D.C.'s, allowing that any sexual contact occurring between those with an age difference of more than three years and a child under the age of 16 is a criminally prosecutable offense.
The Mississippi law is also rife with other problems. For example, there is the issue of jurisdiction, particularly if the "victim" isn't cooperating. Prosecutors would have to determine where the conception occurred before charges will be filed.