Colorado Criminal Defense Blog

Romeo and Juliet Law in Colorado

In Colorado, like in many states, we colloquially call our statutory rape laws the “Romeo and Juliet law”. This is in reference to the fact that Shakespeare’s titular pair were several years apart in age, and that Juliet was underage while Romeo was not; in a Romeo and Juliet law, there is an exception for young people close in age where one is underage.

The premise of the Romeo and Juliet law is that minors are not capable of giving consent to sexual activity. Statutory rape occurs [..]