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.