Age Deception Is Not a Defense in Texas Sexual Assault Case
A very peculiar case involving gun-rights activist Cody Wilson in Texas is getting national attention. A 16-year old girl is claiming that Wilson paid her $500 to have sex after the pair met on dating site Sugar Daddy Meet earlier this year. At the center of the controversy is that the girl allegedly lied about her age. As per Texas law, age deception is no excuse when it comes to having sexual relations with anyone under the age of 17 - the age of consent in Texas.
Wilson's lawyers contend that the unnamed 16 year old had to lie about her age to build a profile on the dating site that specializes in connecting younger "sugar-babies," with older "sugar daddies." The sign-up form specifies that users must be at least 18 years old, and makes anyone registering affirm that fact before they can continue. Austin Police say that while the girl did sign up for the site on her own, her deception doesn't get Wilson off of the hook. If the girl lied about her age (even if she had a fake ID), the Texas law states that it is the adult's responsibility to find out the real age.
Wilson was arrested in Thailand in September as he tried to sign a lease for an apartment. Authorities think he was tipped off about the investigation, and was fleeing prosecution. He was released from a Houston jail after posting a $150,000 bail.
According to Heraldmailmedia.com, authorities are considering more charges, including solicitation off prostitution. Normally that would be a misdemeanor charge, but since the girl is under 18, it's considered a second-degree felony.