City and Borough of Juneau
155 S. Seward Street
Juneau, Alaska 99801
tel. 907-586-5240
fax 907-586-5385

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Q. What is the allowable age difference in adults dating teens? For instance, is an 18 yr old legally allowed to date a 15 yr old?

Dear Juneau Resident,

If we are talking about going to the movies, that is fine. Perhaps this question is actually about intimate contact?

The short answer is 4 years is generally the allowable age diffence when one partner in an intimate relationship is a minor. If the older person has a position of authority over the younger, it gets much more complicated. For more information see the sexual abuse of a minor series AS 11.41.434-440.

However, the older teen in this situation would be smart to consider that there is a big developmental difference between 15 and 18 so he or she should be extra careful that the younger person isn't going along with sexual contact for the wrong reasons. Regret can lead to a sexual assault investigation if the younger person decides he or see didn't really consent to the contact because they were impaired or simply manipulated by an older, more worldly person.


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