When there is an imbalance of power, the age of consent is 18 or even 21 years of age. states, once had a separate law regarding relations betweens homosexuals. Statutory rape is the common name of the crime that occurs when an offender has sex with someone too young to legally give consent.The Vermont law was written to cover only heterosexual acts, but probably applies to homosexual acts as well. The technical term for this crime in Vermont is sexual assault.Statutory rape is prosecuted under Vermont’s sexual assault and lewd and lascivious conduct laws.Penalties depend on the ages of the defendant and victim, and the conduct that occurred, as described below.In Vermont, it is illegal for an adult (someone 18 or older) to have sex with a minor (someone 16 or younger), even if the sex is consensual.Those who break the law have committed statutory rape.
Where minors are close to the same age, the law recognizes that these relationships are not exploitative, and thus not the type of thing which age of consent laws are designed to prevent.
A different set of standards applies under the Vermont age of consent laws when the older partner is in a position of authority over the younger person.
This includes teachers, sports coaches, youth group leaders and religious leaders. Supreme Court overturned those laws, however, by ruling that the state could not set separate standards.
There is a common misunderstanding that close in age laws apply across the board, meaning even if one partner is below the age of consent, say 14, and the other partner is not, say 18, the the law will save the other partner from criminal liability simply because they are both teenagers.
In the example above, the older partner may still face criminal prosecution. The "Romeo and Juliet" exception makes consensual, sexual conduct between a 15 year old minor and a partner who is younger than 19.