In Wisconsin, sexual contact with children under 18 years old may result in criminal prosecution.
“Statutory rape” means that sexual contact is illegal, even if consented to by the parties, based upon the age of the parties.
Sexual contact with a minor 12 years of age or younger and a person of any age is a Felony and may result in up to 60 years in prison. “Sexual contact” is touching (even over clothing or without any penetration) or intercourse (sexual penetration, however slight).
Sexual contact or intercourse with a minor who is 13, 14 or 15 years of age and a person of any age is a Felony and may result in up to 40 years in prison.
Sexual intercourse with a child 16 or 17 years of age and a person of any age is a Misdemeanor with up to 9 months in jail.
School officials are required by state law to report suspicions of illegal sexual contact. When this is occurs, the school typically summons the child to a meeting to ask questions. Anything said in this setting by the child could be used in a later criminal prosecution. Such cases are typically referred to the police for investigation and then very likely to the District Attorney’s Office for consideration of criminal charges.
For example, over the clothing sexual petting between two consenting 15 year old’s qualifies as a 40 year felony. There are cases where teen aged high school pregnancies have lead to prosecution of both parties as felonious sex offenders.
Parents should discuss this with their children and actively discourage non-platonic, intimate relationships with children under 16 years of age. Along with discussions about the risks of STD’s and pregnancy, should be frank conversation about the legal risks of sexual contact between the children of 16 years or older.
If your child is ever confronted with an investigation of sexual contact, it is critically important to consult an attorney before making any statements to the police, school officials or anyone else at all.