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However, if the offender is 10 or more years older than the minor, the crime is charged as a third-degree felony.
If the parties are less than four years apart, the crime is charged as a first degree misdemeanor.
Before his lawyers were finally able to get the Georgia Supreme Court to hear his case and rule that his 10-year sentence was cruel and unusual, this former scholarship student had spent two years in prison.
(At the time, the Georgia law allowing similarity of age to be taken into account applied only to vaginal sex, not oral sex.) Both sets of parents could have helped to avoid this horrendous incident by training and teaching their teens about the law, but more importantly about boundaries, and about building healthy relationships through respect for themselves and respect for others.
In general, minors are considered to be people who are under 18 years of age; at 18, people assume most adult legal rights except for the purchase of alcoholic beverages.If the dating involves no sexual conduct between the adult and the minor, the conduct is generally not prohibited.