• Evan M. Howard

Missouri Age of Consent

Recently I’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding the age of consent laws in the State of Missouri and felt it was a good article topic for today. So what does age of consent mean? Each state has its own laws regarding age of consent and when talking about the age in which a person can “consent” we are usually talking about consenting to sexual intercourse. All age of consent is addressing in the age for which a person can legally, by law, consent to having sex with another individual. If you have sexual intercourse with a person whom is under the age of legal consent, you can be charged which statutory rape.

In Missouri, the age of consent is 17 years of age. Missouri Laws go further in separating the two different types of scenarios where age of consent applies; the under 21 year old tier and the 21 year old tier.

If a person is under the age of 21 in the State of Missouri, he or she can have sexual intercourse with a person who is 14 years of age or older. Once a person becomes 21 years of age or older in the State of Missouri, he or she cannot have sexual intercourse with a person whom is under the age of 17. Regardless of if it is legal or not, it is never a good idea to even test the waters with a statutory rape charge, these are serious charges with serious penalties for which we will discuss below.


(1) Charlie and Christina met in the school cafeteria. Charlie is 16 years old and Christina is a 14 years old. They hit it off and start and start dating. Charlie and Christina end up having sex one night while Charlies parents are out of town.

Even though both Charlie and Christina or underage age, Charlie has not committed statutory rape by having sex with Christina. These two individuals can legally have sex if they wish.

(2) David and Debora met online. David is 16 years old and Debora is 22 years old. Debora and David hit it off and start dating. David is spending more and more time over at Debora’s apartment and the two of them end up having sex one night. Because Debora is over the age of 21 and David is only 16, even though David “consented” to having sex with Debora, Debora statutorily rapped David.

Statutory Rape in Missouri

Statutory rape in the State of Missouri is defined under RSMO § 566.034 and RSMO § 566.032; first degree and second degree. I will address statutory rape in more detail in a later article.

Statutory rape in the first degree in the State of Missouri is when a person has sexual intercourse with any person under the age of 14. Generally, this is a Class A Felony in Missouri and carries a maximum penalty of life in prison with a minimum sentence of not less than 5 years.

Statutory rape in the second degree in the State of Missouri is when a person is 21 years of age or older and has sexual intercourse with an individual whom is less than 17 years old. In our previous examples, Debora has committed statutory rape in the second degree. This charge is a Class D Felony with a prison sentence up to 7 years in prison.

If you have been charged with statutory rape in the State of Missouri, contact Howard Law at (314) 325-9868 for immediately help and guidance through the criminal process.

About The Author

Evan M. Howard is the managing attorney for Howard Law, a St. Louis business law and criminal defense law firm based in Clayton, Missouri. Focused on giving honest, quick and effective representation to all of its clients. With a background in business and experience dealing with tough criminal prosecution cases, Howard Law is ready to help guide you through your legal matter.

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Howard Haake is a St. Louis law firm based in Clayton, Missouri focused on business law, criminal defense, family law and estate planning. We handle all business matters from incorporation to acquisition as well as criminal defense charges from arrest to trial. Howard Haake helps clients in St. Louis, St. Charles, St. Peters, O'Fallon, Brentwood, Columbia, Eureka, Richmond Heights, Clayton, Jennings, Kirkwood, Maplewood, Manchester, Northwoods, Olivette, University City, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights, Bridgeton, Florissant, Ladue, Webster Groves, Hazelwood, Hillsboro, Washington, Union, Hermann, Pacific, and throughout St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Franklin County, Warren County, Gasconade County, Boone County, Crawford County, Montgomery County, and Marion County.

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