Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Thursday, September 1, 2005

22-Year-Old Man's Marriage to 14-Year-Old Girl is No Defense to Statutory Rape

A 22-year-old man who legally married a 14-year-old girl in Kansas after she became pregnant has been criminally charged in Nebraska for having sex with her.  Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said Matthew Koso of Falls City began a sexual relationship with the girl when she was 13. After she became pregnant, her mother gave permission in May for Koso to take their daughter to Kansas, which allows minors to get married with parental consent. ... Koso was charged with first-degree sexual assault, punishable by up to 50 years in prison.

"Researchers estimate that more than 100,000 teenage girls in this country are having sex with men at least six years older. The greater the age difference with her sex partner, the more likely a girl is to have been forced to have sex, to come from a single-parent home, to live in poverty, and to get pregnant.  Statistics about girls having sex as young as Koso’s wife are hard to come by. But of sexually active American girls from 15 to 17, more than a third sleep with guys three years older or more, and one in 15 pairs up with somebody at least six years older. Of girls in that age group who give birth, more than half conceive with men in their 20s." (Scott Canon, The Kansas City Star)

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