Articles Posted in Age of Consent

Ruben Carerra, a 27-year-old Houston police officer who has worked at Central Command since 2012, was recently charged with sexual assault of a child after he allegedly had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl. Carerra admitted to the accusations, saying that he and the girl had a “dating relationship.”

The alleged victim works at a Chick-Fil-A restaurant, where co-workers reported the relationship after witnessing Carerra picking up the girl at the restaurant and leaving in his patrol car. One co-worker said that they came in like a “normal couple.”

The alleged victim told investigators that she and Carerra went a lot further than kissing, and that on one occasion, he answered a radio call while in his uniform. The girl told authorities while being interviewed that she and Carerra were lying on her bed kissing, and that he asked her if she wanted to do “it.” She claims that she declined having sex, but that he sexually assaulted her.

In May of this year, 22-year-old Luciano Martinez pleaded guilty to two charges of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree. Martinez, an illegal immigrant, will likely be deported after he was convicted of the charges in a Cass County court.

The charges were filed after it was revealed that Martinez was having sex with a 14-year-old girl. The defendant resided in Eau Claire, at 9070 Cushing Road. He was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Michael Dodge on July 13th to a minimum of 40 months in the Michigan Department of Corrections, although it is not certain whether he will serve out the sentence before being deported, according to Prosecutor Victor Fitz.

Martinez was accused of aggressively pursuing a relationship with the 14-year-old girl against the wishes of her mother. According to Fitz, Martinez provided the girl with a cell phone so that she could call him. Immigration authorities may decide to deport the defendant to Mexico; the judge said that Martinez’ felony conviction subjects him to deportation, as he is in the U.S. illegally.

Dale Blunier, attorney for Martinez, said that prior to meeting the girl, the defendant had never had a girlfriend, and that he is essentially a “22-year-old man in a teenager’s body.” Blunier described Martinez as immature.

While Martinez was sentenced to 40 months inside guidelines of 36 to 60 months, he has been credited with 95 days served of that sentence.

Michigan criminal sexual conduct attorneys know that a conviction for this type of offense can have a negative impact on the convicted individual’s life forever. Those in the U.S. are required to register on a frequent basis. Anyone who is listed as a sex offender will have problems throughout their life regarding employment, housing, having the right to own a gun and more.

The reality of the situation is that while Martinez was convicted of a sex offense, it is highly likely that the 14-year-old consented to the relationship. It is an unfortunate truth that many times, those accused of crimes such as this are involved with young girls who invite the relationship.

Continue reading

The Michigan Senate has just approved a new teacher/student sex provision aimed at expanding prohibitions against sex between school employees and students. The legislation passed by the Senate in a 36-2 vote Tuesday makes it a crime for school employees such as administrators and teachers to have sex with students, even if the student is 18 or older.

Currently, Michigan law sets an age of consent in such cases at 18.

MCL Section 750.520d Criminal sexual conduct in the third degree, felony, provides:

(1) A person is guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree if the person engages in sexual penetration with another person and if any of the following circumstances exist:

e) That other person is at least 16 years of age but less than 18 years of age and a student at a public school or nonpublic school, and either of the following applies:

(i) The actor is a teacher, substitute teacher, or administrator of that public school, nonpublic school, school district, or intermediate school district.

Individuals charged with having sex with a student face a potential conviction for 3rd degree sexual assault, which is a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 15 years.

If you hare facing charges for any Michigan sex crime, consulting with an experienced Michigan criminal defense law firm is important to begin preparing your defense.

The issue of the age of consent – especially among older students and teachers has received a lot of attention recently, with several high profile cases in the news.

For example recently a Macomb County substitute band teacher was involved in a sexting scandal and accused of having sex with one student. In Bay County a Bay City substitute teacher is accused on having sex with three 17-year-old students. A crucial issue in each of these cases was the age of consent. As a result of the new legislation, even more relationships between students/school workers – even where the school workers are volunteers and the activity occurs during the summer months – will come under scrutiny and potentially be subject to criminal charges.

Continue reading

A bill making it through the Michigan state Senate seeks to expand laws making prohibiting sex between school employees and students. If passed Senate Bill 596 would make consensual sex between school employees – including teachers and administrators – to have sex with students even if the student is older than 18. The law would apply even in those instances of consent, ostensibly to prevent a school employee from taking advantage of a student.

Specifically, Senate Bill 596 would amend MCL 750.520(d) and (e) to provide:

(1) A person is guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree if the person engages in sexual penetration with another person and if any of the following circumstances exists:
(e) That other person is at least 16 years of age and IS a student at a public school or nonpublic school and either of the following applies:

(i) the actor is a teacher, substitute teachers, or administrator…”

Under current law, teenagers can willingly “consent” to sex after the age of 16. Where the person is an authority figure, the age of consensual sex is 18. The new law seeks to eliminate any age limit – making it illegal for school staff to have consensual sex even with students above the age of 18.

Recently, a substitute teacher was charged with third degree sexual conduct for having sex with 3 17-year-old boys during the summer months.

Sex crime charges are serious and have the potential to negatively affect your future, requiring potential jail time, registration on the sex crimes registry and even creating a long-lasting public stigma.

Continue reading

Detroit News reports that a Wayne County judge has removed a man’s name from the sex crimes registry after he successfully petitioned the court. Kenneth Thornberry, now 26, went to prison in 2005 as the result of having consensual sex with his girlfriend of two years. He was 18 and she was 14-years-old at the time.

Under Michigan law, minors under the age of 16 cannot legally “consent” to having sex despite the fact that he or she may be a willing participant in the sexual activity. In fact, many incidents of alleged statutory rape occur in “Romeo/Juliet” type relationships, where teen boyfriends and girlfriends engage in sexual activity without any criminal intent to commit sexual assault. A charge of statutory rape is classified as criminal sexual conduct third degree and is a serious felony, carrying with it significant consequences if convicted.

If you or someone you love has been charged with statutory rape, it is critical to contact an experienced Michigan sex crimes defense attorney immediately to protect your future and begin preparing your defense.

Here, Thornberry was convicted of criminal sexual conduct and spent 6 years behind bars. His name was also placed on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry. Having to register of the sex crimes registry can affect your everyday life and your future, potentially impacting where you live, work, go to school and the types of government programs you qualify for.

Continue reading

According to the Detroit News, a 19-year-old was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly having sex with a 13-year-old girl he met on Facebook. Third degree sexual conduct is sometimes referred to as “statutory rape.”

Here, the 19-year-old boy had been hiding in the girl’s bedroom for up to two days before the girl’s mother discovered him. The girl told the police they had “sexual contact.”

Under Michigan law, the age of consent is 16. The law doesn’t require the existence of intent to sexually assault another, simply that a person be under 16 years and engaged in sexual relations. Thus, although a younger party may say yes, the older partner may be subjected to the harsh injustice of prolonged prison time and placement of his or her name on the sex crimes registry.

In the instant case, if convicted, the 19-year-old faces up to 15 years in prison and must register as a sex offender.

Continue reading

Contact Information