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Most states do not refer specifically to statutory rape; instead they use designations such as sexual assault and sexual abuse to identify prohibited activity.
Regardless of the designation, these crimes are based on the premise that until a person reaches a certain age, he is legally incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse.
In the United States, the age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity.
Individuals aged 16 or younger in Colorado are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape.
In prosecutions under Section 261, 262, 286, 288a, or 289,in which consent is at issue, "consent" shall be defined to meanpositive cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to an exercise offree will.
Depending on the situation, the Colorado close-in-age exemption may completely exempt qualifying close-in-age couples from the age of consent law, or merely provide a legal defence that can be used in the event of prosecution. One or more of these charges may be used to prosecute violations of the Colorado Age of Consent, as statutory rape or the Colorado equivalent of that charge.
The severity of the criminal charge (felony, misdemeanor, etc) depends on the specifics of the acts committed and the relative ages of the perpetrator and victim.
It is illegal for anyone to sexually exploit minors.
The laws vary from place to place, but typically someone over the age of 16 is safe.