For many people in Maryland, the idea that you can be charged for a crime that you did not even know you committed may be a little unsettling. Facing criminal charges because someone else has lied to you casts even more doubt on these types of criminal charges. Although a charge of statutory rape requires someone to consciously engage in sexual intercourse with another person, it apparently makes no allowance for a partner that lies about his or her age. A 23-year-old man is learning that even though a 14-year-old girl told him she was 17-years-old, he is still facing two counts of statutory rape.
Shortly before Christmas, the young man had met and fallen in love with a girl he believed to be 17-years-old. After communicating through Facebook, the pair apparently planned on meeting in person and leaving the girl's home state of Arkansas. The 23-year-old allegedly drove 700 miles to pick up the girl with whom police say he was in love.
The teenager had previously given the man his address and later told police that she was not being held against her will. It seems the couple chose to voluntary leave Arkansas and went to the man's Georgia home.
After staying with the man for two days, she allegedly called her mother who then called the law enforcement. According to police, the teenager claims that she was scared and wanted to be picked up, but it does not seem that the man was preventing her from leaving. Police arrived at the man's apartment and he was arrested and charged with an immigration violation, statutory rape and interference with custody.
It is unknown if the man ever learned that the teenager was 14-years-old.
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Gwinnett police: Man drove to Arkansas to pick up girl, 14," Alexis Stevens, Dec. 30, 2011