How is it legal to marry and impregnate a female under the age of consent? How can the guy not get arrested if he impregnated a female under the age of consent in the United States? Is there some kind of legal loophole that allows something like this to happen?

The video shows a short (47 sec) scene in which a young woman, said to be 14, is in apparent pain while being treated by two medical caregivers (whether doctor or nurse or what is not stated nor obvious). She is accompanied by an older man, apparently in his late 40s or 50s. He is refereed to as "Reverend" and says that he must be in another town at some distance to preach at a revival meeting the next day. It is said that the young woman had a "spontaneous miscarriage" the next day. As the caregivers examine her and ask her questions, she seems to look to the older man for permission to answer. At the end the caregivers refer to the woman as "your daughter" and the older man looks surprised and insistent and states that she is his wife, and the clip ends on that statement. It is not clear if this is part of a drama or a dramatized report of real events.

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    This question would be improved by adding a summary of the video here. Many people will not want to watch a video just to understand what you are talking about.
    – User65535
    May 10 at 12:12
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    I mean the simple answer is that statutory rape laws have an exception if you're married.
    – pboss3010
    May 10 at 12:52
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    IIRC the act of marriage requires both the consent of the female and of her legal guardians. Both of these parties are generally aware than a marriage often comes with consensual sex.
    – quarague
    May 10 at 13:06
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    @brhans: I don't know the US answer. In Germany, having consentual sex is part of a marriage. If one partner refuses (does not consent), the other can ask for a divorce; forcing the first part to have sex is rape. However, there is no statutory rape in a marriage. Sex in the marriage is legal as long as both partners agree. So you are very much on the wrong path here.
    – gnasher729
    May 10 at 15:39
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    Most important: Consider the difference between rape (forced sex when one person said "no") and statutory rape (sex between people not allowed to have sex by law, even if both said "yes"). There is no statutory rape in a marriage. There can be rape.
    – gnasher729
    May 10 at 15:55

1 Answer 1


"Age of consent" is a legal meme that refers indirectly to different criminal statutes, for example in Missouri under MO Rev Stat § 566.034,

A person commits the offense of statutory rape in the second degree if being twenty-one years of age or older, he or she has sexual intercourse with another person who is less than seventeen years of age

§023 also states that "It shall be an affirmative defense to prosecutions under sections 566.032, 566.034, 566.062, 566.064, and 566.071, that the defendant was married to the victim at the time of the offense".

MO Rev Stat §451.090 allows marriage with parental permission to those aged 16 and 17 (by prohibiting licensing of marriage to those younger)

No recorder shall issue a license authorizing the marriage of any male or female under sixteen years of age nor shall a license be issued authorizing the marriage of any male or female twenty-one years of age or older to a male or female under eighteen years of age.

Combining these legal parts, you get the result that a man may marry and impregnate a woman whom he could not legally have intercourse with (irrespective of pregnancy) were they not married. It just depends on what the specific law says.

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