Lawmakers advance bill to ease statutory rape law
BOISE, Idaho. - A Senate committee has advanced a bill that would ease statutory rape laws for adolescent males accused of having sex with girls younger than 18-year-old.
The bill approved Wednesday by the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee would make it legal for an older male to have sex with a girl 16-years-old or older. State law now makes it a felony to have sex with girls under 18 because they're not considered old enough to give consent.
Sen. Brent Hill, a Rexburg Republican and sponsor of the bill, says the problem with the existing statute is it exposes young men to prison time for engaging in sex that may be consensual.
Idaho prosecutors disagree, and oppose the bill.
Idaho Prosecuting Attorneys Association President Dane Watkins says attorneys need the existing statute to prosecute young men who specifically target girls under age 18.
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