Me and my girlfriend have an age difference of 3 and a half years. I am just about to turn 18 next month. We have known each other for a long time and wanted to be more than just friends. When talking about my birthday and turning 18 my parents were talking about what i could and could not do. One of the things my parents brought up was that i could not have sex with someone under my age.
I know that the law states that its illegal unless the age difference is less than 3 years. But am I really 6 months too old? I have never pressured her, I do what she tells me she wants to do. I told her that if she wants anything sexual she should lead it. I care about her, the last thing i would want to do is to make her feel pressured to do anything.
I don’t want to go to jail over something like this. I wouldn’t want to be separated from her.
so, does it include months difference when it says “Third-degree rape to have sexual intercourse with a person under age 16. Defense that the actor was less than three years older than the victim at the time of the offense”?
Would this mean that we could have sex till i am 18? then we could have to wait 6 months till she was another year older so we could again? would we have to have this off and on period of 6 months till she was 18?
Please help, i don’t want to get myself into legal trouble
Thank you for your time
Thank you so much for coming to us for help. It is really mature of you to inquire about the situation that you’re in with your girlfriend. It is a really difficult position that you’re in, and it is one that many young adults face as they get older.
We looked into the issue and we found the same explanation of the law that you found. Because your girlfriend is under 16 you will be in danger of being in real trouble. On top of that, she is more than 3 years younger than you, which means that even after she reaches the age of 16, your age gap is too large to protect you from the close-in-age exception. The age of consent in Oregon is 18, so with your age gap you will be in danger of serious legal repercussions until she turns 18 as well. It is also important to note that sexual contact is not limited to penile-vaginal intercourse, but even encompasses the touching of breast or buttocks under Oregon state law.
We found some examples of young men in similar situations that we feel are important for you to read and consider. This one is from Michigan and this one is from Oregon.
This must be such a painful situation to be in, and I imagine that what we have said is not what you wanted to hear. We at YouthLine feel that the legal troubles that you will be subject to require your full attention and consideration. It sounds like this young woman is very special to you, and so we must advise you to refrain from any sexual contact with her until she turns 18. This will not be an easy conversation to have with her, but your future together will be very different if you have a felony conviction.
From your email it sounds like your parents are very supportive of you, so it might be helpful for you to continue to talk with your parents about your situation, or even have them with you when you decide to talk to your girlfriend.
We wish you the best of luck and are very proud of you for wanting to be responsible. If you would like to call the YouthLine to discuss the situation further you can reach us at 1-877-968-8491.