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Don't just ask the age, ask for the ID

So many good men find themselves facing statutory rape charges because they believed their accuser. With social media pioneering the frontier of anonymous dating, getting to know the facts about someone before a sexual encounter is no longer the norm. And, for most twenty-something's, sexual encounters are casual and often.

It is not uncommon for a young woman to misrepresent her age to a man she is interested in. Young woman are developing and menstruating at a much earlier age now than ever before. For men that find themselves chatting with a young woman, estimating her age based on her physical appearance may be difficult. Furthermore, some young women purposely make themselves up to look older than they really are.

While this presentation is not a calling card for statutory rape it does invite a certain demographic. And, if both parties are willing and believed to be consenting adults, chatting may progress to something more physical. For men that find themselves in this type of situation, it is better to be safe than sorry. Nobody will fault two adults for engaging in adult activities, but engaging in adult activities with a minor is against the law not matter if you knew her age or not.

If the situation arises, and asking her age doesn't clear your conscious, consider asking for her identification. Fakes are out there, but chances are you can spot them. Knowledge is a good first line of defense, and underage is underage no matter how you spin it. If you are going to engage in a casual encounter with someone you do not know well, take the extra minute to find out if your encounter is with a consenting adult or an illegal minor. If you have found yourself in this situation and are facing statutory charges consider speaking to a trusted attorney.

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The Naperville, Illinois, law firm of Jim Ryan & Associates is available to serve people throughout the Chicago metropolitan area with a focus in DuPage County, the western suburbs and Naperville, in communities such Downers Grove, Wheaton, Carol Stream, Bloomingdale, Addison, Itasca, Warrenville, Woodridge, Oswego, Yorkville, Roselle, Aurora and Elmhurst. We also represent students and parents of students who attend any of the area schools and universities, including Naperville North High School, Naperville Central High School, Neuqua Valley High School, Waubonsie Valley and North Central College.

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