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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

SCOTUS Rules Consensual Sexual Conduct with Partner over 16 Not Sexual Abuse of a Minor

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Esquivel-Quintana v. Sessions:

In an 8-0 decision the Supreme Court has held that: In the context of statutory rape offenses that criminalize sexual intercourse based solely on the ages of the participants, the generic federal definition of “sexual abuse of a minor” requires the age of the victim to be less than 16.

The facts and procedural history of the case are as follows:

The case involved a citizen of Mexico and lawful permanent resident who pleaded no contest in California to a statutory rape offense that criminalizes the “unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who is more than three years younger than the perpetrator.” Cal.Penal Code Ann. §261.5(c). California defines “minor” as “a person under the age of 18.” §261.5(a). Based on this conviction, the Department of Homeland Security initiated removal proceedings under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which makes removable “[a]ny alien who is convicted of an aggravated felony,” 8 U. S. C. §1227(a)(2)(A)(iii), including “sexual abuse of a minor,” §1101(a)(43)(A). An Immigration Judge ordered petitioner removed to Mexico. The Board of Immigration Appeals agreed that petitioner’s crime constituted sexual abuse of a minor and dismissed his appeal. A divided Court of Appeals denied his petition for review.

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