What kind of case should be filed against a boyfriend who has sexual intercourse with his 17-year-old girlfriend?
Dear Tita Salud,
There are two crimes that may be associated with the problem that you have stated. These are the crimes of rape and simple seduction. Rape is punishable under paragraph 1 of Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code (RPC). It is committed by a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: (a) through force, threat or intimidation; (b) when the offended party is deprived of reason or is otherwise unconscious; (c) by means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; (d) when the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present. On the other hand, the crime of simple seduction is punishable under Article 338 of the RPC, which provides: “The seduction of a woman who is single or a widow of good reputation, over twelve but under eighteen years of age, committed by means of deceit, shall be punished by arresto mayor.”
Based on the above-mentioned provisions of law, the proper crime that may be filed depends on the circumstances surrounding the sexual intercourse of the boyfriend with his 17-year-old girlfriend. Thus, the crime of rape is proper if the boyfriend used force, threat or intimidation in having sexual intercourse or that the girlfriend was deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious at the time or that the sexual intercourse was attained by means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority. Meanwhile, the crime of seduction is the proper case to be filed against the boyfriend if the sexual intercourse was committed by means of deceit.
We hope that we have answered your query. Our legal opinion may vary if other facts are stated or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org