Criminal Law, Pages 391–393

State v. Hirschfelder

Supreme Court of Washington, 2010
Advisory: This brief may contain disturbing or offensive content.
I've tried to write it professionally, but be aware that you might not want to read it if you don't have to.
This was generated automatically because of the following tags: rape

Facts:

Defendant, a 33-year-old high school choir teacher, had sex with an 18-year-old student of his. Defendant was charged with statutory rape.

Procedural History:

  • Trial court denied defendant's motion to dismiss the charges.

  • Court of appeals reversed.

Issue:

Does one have to be under 18 to be a victim of statutory rape?

Judgment:

Reversed.

Reasoning:

While the statute uses the word "minor," it defines it to mean a student over the age of 16. The school allowed students up to 21, so the statute would include students 16–21. The legislative history shows that the requirement that a victim be under 18 was explicitly removed from the statute, showing that this was intended to be criminalized.

Rule/Holding:

Statutory rape can apply when the victim is over the age of 18.