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We just wanted a relationship that was strictly just spending time together and sharing our days.

Now I am 21 years old and I like a 17 year old Christian.

They had consentual sex throughout the relationship and got pregnant. But Texas has an "affirmative defense to prosecution" clause, tried in 1999, which may consider the act "not a criminal offense" because he is less than three years older than she is.

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While nothing prohibits a cohabiting couple from describing each other as husband and wife, no legal recognition for common law marriage in Oregon exists and couples will not have the protections of marriage regardless of how long they have cohabited or whether they have children.

Dear Reader, We've received more questions about statutory rape concerning age-gap distinctions, so I'll try to answer what I didn't cover in the previous article on statutory rape. Dear Panel, If a minor has sex with a minor – for example: a 17 year guy having sex with a 17 year old girl – is that statutory rape since they are both of "legal" age to have sex?

– Ashley female, age 17, USA Dear Ashley, If both people having consensual sex are the same age, it's not statutory rape.

Although your case makes statutory rape laws seem arbitrary, a story from one of our readers illustrates why the law might protect someone underage from being exploited.

Dear Panel, My younger brother got involved in a serious relationship when he was 17. The relationship progressed and he (obviously) turned 18 and she 16. – Scared Sister female, age 21, Texas, USA She or anyone else can press charges against him for statutory rape because the age of consent in Texas is 17.

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