based off of the answer to this question: If one leaves the US to commit an act illegal in the US but legal in the country they travel to are they guilty of a crime? My first bizarre loophole question has to do with situations when someone is a US citizen, but consider themselves to be citizens of a different country with different laws..
Lets say you have two Individuals Bob, age 17, and Alice, who just turned 18, who live in, and are citizens of, some non-US country X, who are dating and have a sexual relationship. Say country X considers the age of consent 16, recognizes dual citizenship, and has an extradition treaty with the US...
However, Alice happened to have been born on a cruise while the cruise ship was sailing through US territorial waters, thus making her a US citizen. She has never done any of the things which can cause someone to officially lose their US citizenship.
I'm wondering what, of any of these scenarios, would be illegal due to the above law and could theoretically lead to either extrication, or to arrest when/if they ever visited the US at some later date (and if one is possible but not the later).
Alice never realizing she was born actually born in US waters and never thinking of herself as a US citizen, and she never visited the US or engaged in any of the activities that cause her to lose citizenship
If the above would not be sufficient would any of the below situations potentially lead to prosecution:
- Knew she was also a US citizen and had once claimed some minor right or privileged due to being a US citizen.
- Occasionally visits a friend or relative within the US for brief periods, using her US citizenship to allow easier entry to the US, without going through the steps of the VWP.
- Once stayed in the US with said friend/relative for slightly more then 90 days (beyond the length a regular tourist can stay) many years ago
- Had just spent spent 91 day summer vacation with her family relative before returning to her home country and having sexual relations with Bob.
Alice and Bob both live in and were citizens of X but originally met when both were on a vacation to the US, ultimately having a sexual relationship in their home country.
Would Alice potentially face prosecution, if not would this change if:
- The couple had (legally) engaged in sexual activity in the US prior to traveling back home
- The couple originally met in a state where sexual intercourse would have been illegal and so waited until returning home before having a sexual relationship?
- Alice bought bob plan ticket home, so she is officially 'transporting' bob? (section a of the above law applies)
- Alice and bob did have a relationship prior to their visit to the US which continued during their US visit.
I realize that prosecutor discretion would usually result in no one choosing to prosecutor most if not all of the above cases, despite any legal right, but I'm asking rather they could face charges if a prosecutor did choose to move forward for some reason. I don't know why they would, maybe they are angry at Alice for some other legal act and this is their way of bending the laws to punish Alice in some way, maybe someone is putting pressure on Alice as some political maneuver to pressure her important father into something, maybe some prosecutor is just really gung-ho in prosecuting crimes for some reason whatever...
*Edit: Looking back at the law I linked I realized that the definition of illicit sexual encounter, when outside of US territories, is effectively defined as a commercial sexual act, which negates all my examples since no one was being payed. However, I'm not interested in the specific law so much as how any law making activities on foreign territory illegal would be applied to citizens, and only used this law because it was the only one I knew of to reliable reference. For now umm...just pretend that illicit sexual act part of the law was not limited only to commercial acts when answering this question? I think the heart of what I'm trying to understand wouldn't change if that law were slightly different and that's easier then my rewriting all of the above.
ps. A US citizen can travel to Angola and have sex with a 12 year old without any repercussion so long as he doesn't pay anyone if I'm reading the law right? That's something I really didn't need to know about. I knew I shouldn't have used that particular law as my example for this...
pps. Also the definition of "any person can be charged with a criminal offense" seems extremely vague since it doesn't specify what country/state laws would apply for deciding if the person could be charged with a criminal offense, and I'm sure if you look far enough countries have outlawed all kind of things as sexual offenses, like being in the presence of a women who isn't wearing a hijab.