Pennsylvania Age of Consent

The age of consent in Pennsylvania is 16 years of age for statutory sexual assault and 18 years for corruption of minors.

Teenagers aged 13, 14 and 15 may or may not be able to legally engage in sexual activity with partners who are less than 4 years older. Such partners could not be prosecuted under statutory rape laws, but may be liable for other offenses, even when the sexual activity is consensual.

Under Pennsylvania law, a defendant is strictly liable for the offense of rape, a felony of the first degree, when the complainant is 12 or younger. Pennsylvania has enacted several other strict liability sexual offenses when the complainant is under 16, but 13 years old or older.

§ 3122.1. Statutory sexual assault.
Except as provided in section 3121 (relating to rape), a person commits a felony of the second degree when that person engages in sexual intercourse with a complainant under the age of 16 years and that person is four or more years older than the complainant and the complainant and the person are not married to each other.

§ 3125 Aggravated indecent assault
(7) the complainant is less than 13 years of age; or (8) the complainant is less than 16 years of age and the person is four or more years older than the complainant and the complainant and the person are not married to each other. (b) Aggravated indecent assault of a child.–A person commits aggravated indecent assault of a child when the person violates subsection (a)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5) or (6) and the complainant is less than 13 years of age.

§ 3123 Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
(7) who is less than 16 years of age and the person is four or more years older than the complainant and the complainant and person are not married to each other.

When the alleged victim is 16 or older and less than 18 years of age, and the alleged offender is over the age of 18, the Commonwealth may charge the offense of corruption of minors or unlawful contact with a minor, even if the activity was consensual:

§ 6301 Corruption of minors.
(a) Offense defined.– (1) Whoever, being of the age of 18 years and upwards, by any act corrupts or tends to corrupt the morals of any minor less than 18 years of age, or who aids, abets, entices or encourages any such minor in the commission of any crime, or who knowingly assists or encourages such minor in violating his or her parole or any order of court, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree.

The crime of corruption of minors is usually a crime that accompanies another “more serious” crime such as statutory rape or involuntary deviate sexual intercourse or accompanies some drug or alcohol use, possession or sale. Tending to corrupt like contributing to delinquency is a broad term involving conduct toward a child in an unlimited variety of ways which tends to produce or to encourage or to continue conduct of the child which would amount to delinquent conduct.”

The question of whether consensual intercourse with a minor 16 years or older tends to corrupt the morals of that minor is a jury question to be decided by the “common sense of the community.”

§ 6318. Unlawful contact with minor.
(a) Offense defined.–A person commits an offense if he is intentionally in contact with a minor, or a law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his duties who has assumed the identity of a minor, for the purpose of engaging in an activity prohibited under any of the following, and either the person initiating the contact or the person being contacted is within this Commonwealth: (1) Any of the offenses enumerated in Chapter 31 (relating to sexual offenses). (2) Open lewdness as defined in section 5901 (relating to open lewdness). (3) Prostitution as defined in section 5902 (relating to prostitution and related offenses). (4) Obscene and other sexual materials and performances as defined in section 5903 (relating to obscene and other sexual materials and performances). (5) Sexual abuse of children as defined in section 6312 (relating to sexual abuse of children). (6) Sexual exploitation of children as defined in section 6320 (relating to sexual exploitation of children).


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37 Responses to Pennsylvania Age of Consent

  1. Sherry Hodge says:

    Hello,I am needing to know if in the State of PA.,if a peron in on the sexual offenders list for 6301 Corruption of a Minor,are they allowed to live in a house with a child? I appreciate your help with this question considering the topic.

                                                                          Thank you again, Sherry Hodge

    • Shelby says:

      I'm not sure if they would be allowed to live in the same household as a child of they are on the sex offenders list, especially if the person knows they didn't change and knows that they would be tempted to do it again, and that it definitely would not be safe, at all. I would not let my child live in the same house as a sex offender.

  2. Shelby says:

    So if the age of consent is 16 years of age, does that mean if the significant other just turned  21 years of old that it would be corruption of a minor even if they didn't do anything sexual with the 16 year old, and if the parents of the 16 year old consented to you being able to be in a relationship with said significant other?

    thank you, I need to know asap.!

    • B Free says:

      Highly unlikley. The prosecutors have much discretion when deciding when to file charges, so considering that the parents consented to the relationship, it would likely not happen.

  3. Steve says:

    I have a question i didn’t get my exact answer reading this. My question is if I’m 20 and my girlfriend is 17 and is turning 18 in 3 months and her parents have given me permission to date her but my parents don’t approve can i be charged with anything ? Not saying my parents are gonna charge me.

  4. Karen says:

    Im 15 so if i would date somebody 18 years of age does that mean that he could be charged even though we dont have a 4 year age differance?

  5. jeff says:

    if the girl i wish to date is 16 and i am 21 and i get her parents concent can i get charged with anything

  6. Lori says:

    I am wondering if the one person is 19 and the other is 15 but the 15 year old's parents allowed the relationship, even allowed the 19 year old to move in with 15 year old, what does that fall under?

    19 yr old sees a therapist who just found out 15 yr old is turning 16 and says is mandated reporter so has to call children and youth.

    Please help, should we call attorney

    • jon says:

      Yes! you should call an attorney. and to avoid any further issues the 19 yo should change therapists and if asked to talk about sexual relations with the 15 yo, generalize. i.e. not mention of his or her name or local. the reporting laws are very strict. In Sex offender treatments all participants are asked to generalize any details with prior victims so that the therapists don't have enough information to report on but the participant is still being truthful of all offenses. also by victims i mean any sexual contact that could be construde as illegal in the court of law. that meaning if a 19 yo had sex with multiple sexual encounters with various 15 yo's and was never charged with having sexual relations with any of them, they would still be considered victims. 

      • Matthew says:

        Jon, is 100% right on this, keep things simple, that way you dont give enough information that could lead to charges being filed "BUT" your still being truthful and can benefit from the theraphy and if pushed for more details think before you answer, "OR" say I don't feel like talking about it.

        Yes! you should call an attorney. and to avoid any further issues the 19 yo should change therapists and if asked to talk about sexual relations with the 15 yo, generalize. i.e. not mention of his or her name or local.

  7. Renee says:

    If I'm 16 and the guy I like is 21 is it illegal for us to date without my parents consent? Even if we aren't haveing sexual intercourse?

    • B Free says:


      The legal age of consent in PA is 16. This means that even if you had consensual sexual relations with this man, he would not be guilty of any sexual offense in PA. Nevertheless, you are still considered to be a minor because you are under the age of 18.  Therefore, if he were to engage in behavior, however, that “corrupts or tends to corrupt [your] morals”, or “aids, abets, entices or encourages [you] in the commission of any crime”, he could be charged with Corruption of Minors § 6301 (a)(1)(i). A classic example of this would be if he purchased alcohol for you. Additionally, if he were to photograph or record a video of you engaging in sexual acts, he would be guilty of child pornography.

  8. Ren says:

    If the guy is 21 and I'm 16, is it illegal for us to date without my parents permission, even though we aren't having sexual intercourse?

  9. Vanessa says:

    I just want to make sure that I completely understand this. If a boy is 16, my sister 22 and sexual things happen between them, the only thing she could be charged with is corruption of a minor? And the 4 year rule doees not apply when the younger person is 16 or older? There is alot of confusion, and I don’t want anyone getting themselves into trouble.

  10. rich says:

    so let me get this correct. my girlfriend is 16 while i myself am 24, even if we had sexual relations irregardless of parental approval it would be legal?

  11. Smpg says:

    If a 17 boy has sex with a 14 year old girl and she is about to turn 15 and she is pregnant can the boy get in trouble ? both the parents don’t want any trouble but just want to check the law.he turns 18 when she turns 16. This is in philadelphia

    • B Free says:

      Person “A” can legally have consensual sexual intercourse with person “B” age 13-15 IF person “A” is not more than 3 years older.

  12. Hillary says:

    So I’m a 17-year old and I want to date a 26-year old. I turn 18 in 9 months and we don’t feel like waiting to be together. My parents don’t know about this and they would probably disagree to it but I doubt they would put charges against him. Is it legal for us to date?

    • B Free says:

      Hillary, being 17, you are above the legal age of consent of Pennsylvania which is 16, so your friend’s age of 26 does not matter as long as the sexual relationship is mutual. Remember, however, that you still are a minor, and he would be guilty of pornography crimes if he photographed you in sexual situations.

  13. destiny says:

    Hi I have been with my bf for awhile now he is 15 and I just turned 18 can I get into any trouble other then corruption of a minor??

    • B Free says:

      Destiny, please see

      Also, for the exact language of the law, see, and scroll down to “§ 3122.1. Statutory sexual assault.”

  14. heather says:

    I am 16 and my boyfriend is turning 20 in December but I don’t turn 17 till June, I want to marry him so I am emancipated, is this legal?

  15. kc says:

    I have a question. IM 16 and the guy I’m currently dating is 19 and we have been going out for almost a year now. We both just turned these ages btw.
    My question is that if we did certain types of sexual things while I was 15, would that count now that I’m 16 years old?

    • B Free says:


      See my previous reply at

      When you were 15, it would depend whether he was more than 3 years older than you.

  16. Zaza says:

    I need to know can a 17 year old go out with a 14 year old with out going to jail or do you need parent permission???!!!

  17. Sasha G says:

    If the guy I just started dating is 19 and I’m 15 are we allowed to just kiss. We both understand there can’t be anything sexual or touch each other or anything alone those lines, but are kissing, holding hands, and cuddling legal to do?

  18. Kaitlyn says:

    If im almost 16 and my fiance is 18 is that illegal? He was born 1996 i was born 1998. Thats a 2 year difference. Can he get charged while no sexual things are happening

  19. Goolah says:

    So, I live in pa…if I were to get pregnant at the age of 17 which I am, and my boyfriend is 26. My parents and his agree with us being together could he be charged with anything???

    • B Free says:


      Neither of you could be charged with a sex crime for having consensual sexual intercourse. The pregnancy is irrelevant. The age of consent for sexual relations in PA is 16. However, taking photos or videos of anyone under the age of 18 engaged in a sexual act is considered to be the production of child pornography.

  20. matthew says:

    OK I gotta ask this cause I need to make sure. If I am 19 years old and my gf is 17 can I have sexual Intercourse with her without being charged with anything? Besides if the parents didn’t give consent.

    • B Free says:


      In your case, neither of you could be charged with a sex crime for having consensual sex. However, taking photos or videos of anyone under the age of 18 engaged in a sexual act is considered to be the production of child pornography.

  21. mark says:

    Ok in 26 and turns 27 on may 19th and the girl i was seeing is 17and turns 18 on November 19th and she gets pregnant in January. and not due intil October or late September. would i get into trouble would i be consider a sex offender or curpting a minior please help thanks for your time

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