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What happens now? If you were arrested for a misdemeanor sex crime, you may have received a citation or release agreement directing you to appear in court at a future date. Please read this document carefully, and be sure to show up on time to your court appearance. Your first court appearance is called an "arraignment" or "initial appearance. Sometimes, bail, release, or release conditions are discussed. If you were arrested for a felony sex offense, then you were likely booked into custody and given a court date on the next business day. Many sex crimes, especially Class A and Class B felonies are Measure 11 offenses and have extremely high bail amounts. If you are not released on your own recognizance, then you will usually have to post bail in order to be released. Make sure you abide by any release conditions, and make sure to have no contact with the complaining witness. The DA's Office then brings the case before a grand jury and charges of encouraging child sexual abuse follow.
Getting convicted of a sex crime can have serious consequences that last for many long years. For someone who is younger, these repercussions can be particularly harmful as they try to launch a career, get into an institution of higher education or apply for a professional license. Everyone makes some youthful mistakes, but only a select few wind up accused of a sex crime as a result. For example, rape in the third degree includes having sexual intercourse with another person who is under the age of 16, and is a Class C felony. Rape in the second degree includes sex with someone who is under 14 years old, and is a Class B felony. These offenses are punishable by fines, and up to five years and ten years in prison, respectively.
Here's some advice from the Oregon Legislature. Sex with minors is illegal, so don't do it. But if you're going to do it anyway, then it's better legally to have sex with a 14 year old than a 17 year old.
In Oregon, the age of consent for sex is 18 years old. This applies to everyone; it applies to both men and women, and to both heterosexual and homosexual conduct. Unlike many other states, Oregon has made exceptions in its age of consent laws for adolescents who are under the age of consent, but are close to the same age. In general, anyone 14 years or older can consent to have sex with someone who is no more than 3 years older than them. The older adolescent will not be accused of statutory rape if there was valid consent.