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For example, California, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, and New York reserve their harshest statutory rape penalty for offenders who are age 21 or older.

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Criminal sexual act in the third degree is a class E felony.

Until the late 20th century many states had provisions requiring that the teenage girl must be of previous "chaste character" in order for the sexual conduct to be considered criminal. The act has to be illegal under state or federal law to be charged with a crime under 2422(b), and can even be applied to situations where both parties reside within the same state but use an instant messenger program whose servers are located in another state. § 2260) makes it a federal crime to possess or create sexually explicit images of any person under 18 years of age; this creates a federal age of consent of 18 for pornography.

In 1998 Mississippi became the last state to remove this provision from its code. forbids transporting a minor (defined as under 18) in interstate or foreign commerce with the intent of engaging in criminal sexual acts in which a person can be charged. Thus, while some conduct covered by the statute is highly culpable, these penalties apply even when consensual sex between someone under the age of eighteen and someone over the age of eighteen is entirely legal under state law, the non-commercial possession of an explicit picture or video clip of the person under the age of eighteen (such as a cell phone photograph of a naked sexual partner, under the age of eighteen, of the person taking the photo) may still constitute a serious federal child pornography felony. § 2251 (such as taking a suggestive cell phone picture of an otherwise legal sexual partner under the age of eighteen without an intent to share or sell the picture), face fines and a statutory minimum of 15 years to 30 years maximum in prison.

Depending on the jurisdiction, legal age of consent ranges from 16 to 18 years old.

In some places, civil and criminal laws within the same state conflict with each other.

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