As an Aggressive Baltimore Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney I have represented hundreds of people charged with Sex Offenses. Many of these case deal with adults (typically men) having sexual contact with underage victims (typically girls) - so call Statutory Rape Cases - although Maryland Law does not use that specific terminology. The basic rule is that if a child is under the age of 16 - which is the age of consent in Maryland - it is illegal for an adult who is at least 4 years older than the child to have an form of sexual contact with the child. These crimes are prosecuted very aggressively throughout Maryland and typically result in jail time as well as requirement to register as a sexual offender for 15 to 25 years or even for life.
What makes these cases even more difficult to defend is that they are so called "Strict Liability" offenses, which means that it does not matter if the adult was aware that the child was underage. This applies even in circumstances in which the child affirmatively lies about or conceals her age. As unfair as this may sound, it is the law in Maryland and in many other states. It also does not matter who initiates the sexual contact. The adult will be held liable even if he was aggressively pursued by the child to have sex. I successfully resolved a case that falls into this latter description last week in Baltimore County Circuit Court. Here are the facts: