In New Hampshire, people who engage in sexual activity with children under the age of consent (age 16) can be convicted of sexual assault (also called statutory rape). Defendants are routinely arrested and prosecuted for child enticement as a result of sting operations set up by law enforcement officers posing online as children interested in sex with older men. Second and subsequent convictions for aggravated felonious sexual assault are punished more severely.
The spouse of a pregnant woman is generally presumed to be the parent of her child.
Of course, people who commit sex acts by force or without the other person’s consent can also be charged and convicted of sex crimes or assault or both. Named for Shakespeare’s characters, these exceptions protect young people from criminal charges as a result of consensual sexual activity with other teens.
For more information on these crimes, see New Hampshire Sexual Battery Laws, New Hampshire Assault and Battery Laws, New Hampshire Aggravated Assault Laws, and Assault With a Deadly Weapon in New Hampshire. In New Hampshire, it is not a crime to engage in consensual sexual conduct short of penetration with a person over the age of 13 unless the defendant is at least five years older, and consensual penetration with a person over the age of 13 by a person within four years in age is a misdemeanor and the defendant is not required to register as a sex offender.
Under New Hampshire’s statutory rape laws, the determinative fact is the age of the victim and the age difference between the victim and the defendant.
It does not matter whether the victim consented to or pursued the intimate relationship. § § 632-A:2, 632-A:3, 632-A:4.) Many states have enacted “Romeo and Juliet” exceptions to statutory rape laws. § 632-A:4.) Any sexual penetration or touching of a child under the age of 13 is aggravated felonious sexual assault or felonious sexual assault.