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Legal Statutes: Delaware

UPDATED April 12, 2017

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Subpart D. Sexual Offenses

back to top§ 762. Provisions generally applicable to sexual offenses

(a) Mistake as to age.--Whenever in the definition of a sexual offense, the criminality of conduct or the degree of the offense depends on whether the person has reached that person’s sixteenth birthday, it is no defense that the actor did not know the person's age, or that the actor reasonably believed that the person had reached that person’s sixteenth birthday.

(b) Gender.--Unless a contrary meaning is clearly required, the male pronoun shall be deemed to refer to both male and female.

(c) Separate acts of sexual contact, penetration and sexual intercourse. --Nothing in this title precludes a defendant from being charged with separate offenses when multiple acts of sexual contact, penetration or intercourse are committed against the same victim.

(d) Teenage defendant.--As to sexual offenses in which the victim's age is an element of the offense because the victim has not yet reached that victim’s sixteenth birthday, where the person committing the sexual act is no more than 4 years older than the victim, it is an affirmative defense that the victim consented to the act “knowingly” as defined in § 231 of this title. Sexual conduct pursuant to this section will not be a crime. This affirmative defense will not apply if the victim had not yet reached that victim’s twelfth birthday at the time of the act.
58 Laws 1972, ch. 497, § 1; 59 Laws 1974, ch. 547, § 3; 61 Laws 1977, ch. 56, § 3; 65 Laws 1986, ch. 494, § 1; 66 Laws 1988, ch. 269, §§ 33, 34; 71 Laws 1998, ch. 285, §§ 8, 9, eff. Sept. 9, 1998; 75 Laws 2006, ch. 392, § 3, eff. July 10, 2006.