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Sex With A Mentally Retarded Person

Published: May 01, 2013
Dear TeenHealthFX,
Is it legal to have sex with a mentally retarded person even if they give consent and are of the age of consent or higher?

Dear Sex With A Mentally Retarded Person,

Assessment of sexual consent capacity of individuals with mental retardation can be a complex issue. The level of disability can range from mild to profound. There is a fine line that exists between promoting individual rights and protection from harm when these impairments interfere with the ability to make informed decisions. A person classified with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities are perfect targets for sexual abuse and assault because they often do not recognize the activity as criminal, they sometimes can't resist and if they are nonverbal, they cannot tell anyone what happened.                                                  

Mentally retarded people do get special protection under the law in cases of sexual abuse. It is similar to the statutory protection given to children. In cases of sexual abuse, actual consent is irrelevant, because the person is incapable of giving legal consent.

 

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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