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What is the difference between statutory rape and forcible rape in Maine?

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The main difference between rape and statutory rape in Maine is the age of the alleged victim.

For a statutory rape charge to be successfully prosecuted in Maine, the victim must be below the legal age of consent (16) and the adult more than five years older than the alleged victim (in the case of a 14- or 15-year-old).

If a victim is below the legal age of consent or mentally handicapped, there can be no consensual sexual activity and a charge of statutory rape may be applied. This may include the crimes of sexual assault against a child, rape of a child, or corruption of a minor.

Crimes against minors who have not yet reached puberty (child sexual abuse or molestation) are generally handled even more severely than the crime of statutory rape.

The use of force may increase the punishment but is not a prerequisite for a charge of statutory rape.

A conviction for statutory rape can result in a long period of imprisonment as well as mandatory registration as a sex offender.

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