In May 2004, the Georgia Supreme Court overturned Dixon’s conviction, stating that he should’ve been prosecuted on the lesser charge of misdemeanor statutory rape, which carries a maximum sentence of one year.He walked out of prison on May 3, 2004, at age 19, a free man.Charges can range from fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct all the way up to an automatic felony if it’s proven there was sexual penetration.
While Benda does not have a criminal record in Minnesota, the charges still show up in public records. In a hotel room two years ago after prom, Samuel J.
But the eyes of law enforcement officials do not see those shades of gray quite as well; the law is black and white.
And when those laws are broken — even unknowingly — it stops becoming a parental decision and starts becoming a legal matter. The state has defined an appropriate age of consent, and under Minnesota statute, people cannot have any type of sexual contact with a child under the age of 16 if they are more than 24 months older than them.“Sexual contact is also defined as breasts and inner thigh areas,” said Becker County Investigator Kathy Nguyen, who says the level of charges is determined by how far those teens go.
Such a legal arrangement is called a stay of adjudication.
It means a defendant won’t be adjudicated as guilty, as long as he or she complies with the court’s conditions.