COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – A Columbus High School student is arrested Thursday for statutory rape. The 15 year old male student charged as an adult apparently had improper sexual relations with a 12 year old girl. Undoubtedly there are more of these cases falling under the radar that probably go unreported.
Statutory rape among teenagers is just that….rape. And in Mississippi, by law its not allowed.
“We have people that have been prosecuted that were 17 and fifteen. Say for example the male is 17, girl friend is 15, if they have sexual relations then the state can pursue charges against the 17 year old for rape because she is under sixteen,” said Tony Cooper, Lowndes County Sheriff Investigator.
15 year old Jakari Malone was arrested for sex with a 12 year old girl.
Its illegal in Mississippi to engage in such activity under the age of 16. And in different scenarios, a judge will do the sentencing according to age.
“The judge of course is, the judge and jury is going to frown more upon a violent rape that what they would on a consensual,” said Cooper.
And if it were a seventeen year old female who engaged in sexual relations with a 13 year old male, that law still stands.
“Same thing. We don’t look at the race or sex. You know we are solely looking at the age. And you know, like you said, the scenario you just gave, we have we’ve sent women off for statutory rape. For having sex with under aged males before,” said Cooper.
Each case involving rape among teens, either forced or mutually agreed upon, must be scrutinized on it’s own merit.
“This would have to be one that the judge would have to determine from the bench,” added Cooper.
In the most recent case of statutory rape, the victim’s mother reported the rape.