2004 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division A
By: Senator(s) Walls
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 97-3-65, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE RAPE OF A CHILD UNDER 14 MUST BE KNOWING AND WILLFUL, AMONG OTHER ELEMENTS, IN ORDER TO CONVICT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 97-3-65, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-3-65. (1) The crime of statutory rape is committed when:
(a) Any person seventeen (17) years of age or older knowingly and willfully has sexual intercourse with a child who:
(i) Is at least fourteen (14) but under sixteen (16) years of age;
(ii) Is thirty-six (36) or more months younger than the person; and
(iii) Is not the person's spouse; or
(b) A person of any age knowingly and willfully has sexual intercourse with a child who:
(i) Is under the age of fourteen (14) years;
(ii) Is twenty-four (24) or more months younger than the person; and
(iii) Is not the person's spouse.
(2) Neither the victim's consent nor the victim's lack of chastity is a defense to a charge of statutory rape.
(3) Upon conviction for statutory rape, the defendant shall be sentenced as follows:
(a) If eighteen (18) years of age or older, but under twenty-one (21) years of age, and convicted under subsection (1)(a) of this section, to imprisonment for not more than five (5) years in the State Penitentiary or a fine of not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or both;
(b) If twenty-one (21) years of age or older and convicted under subsection (1)(a) of this section, to imprisonment of not more than thirty (30) years in the State Penitentiary or a fine of not more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), or both, for the first offense, and not more than forty (40) years in the State Penitentiary for each subsequent offense;
(c) If eighteen (18) years of age or older and convicted under subsection (1)(b) of this section, to imprisonment for life in the State Penitentiary or such lesser term of imprisonment as the court may determine, but not less than twenty (20) years;
(d) If thirteen (13) years of age or older but under eighteen (18) years of age and convicted under subsection (1)(a) or (1)(b) of this section, such imprisonment, fine or other sentence as the court, in its discretion, may determine.
(4) (a) Every person who shall have forcible sexual intercourse with any person, or who shall have sexual intercourse not constituting forcible sexual intercourse or statutory rape with any person without that person's consent by administering to such person any substance or liquid which shall produce such stupor or such imbecility of mind or weakness of body as to prevent effectual resistance, upon conviction, shall be imprisoned for life in the State Penitentiary if the jury by its verdict so prescribes; and in cases where the jury fails to fix the penalty at life imprisonment, the court shall fix the penalty at imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for any term as the court, in its discretion, may determine.
(b) This subsection (4) shall apply whether the perpetrator is married to the victim or not.
(5) In all cases where a victim is under the age of sixteen (16) years, it shall not be necessary to prove penetration where it is shown the genitals, anus or perineum of the child have been lacerated or torn in the attempt to have sexual intercourse with the child.
(6) For the purposes of this section, "sexual intercourse" shall mean a joining of the sexual organs of a male and female human being in which the penis of the male is inserted into the vagina of the female.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.