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"Every person who, with or without consent, has sexual intercourse with a person who is under the age of fourteen years commits the offence of unlawful sexual intercourse and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term that is not less than twelve years but may extend to imprisonment for life." "Every person who has unlawful sexual intercourse with a person who is above the age of fourteen years but under the age of sixteen years, commits an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term that is not less than five years but no more than ten years." Age of sexual consent is 16, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender.
There exist two close-in-age exemptions, depending on the age of the younger partner.
Persons below the age of consent may not, by law, give consent, and sexual relations involving such persons may be punished by criminal sanctions similar to those for rape or sexual assault.
These laws are situational and are subject to interpretation.
A youth of twelve or thirteen can consent to sexual activity with an individual less than two years older than they.
A fourteen- or fifteen-year-old can consent to sexual activity with a partner who is less than five years older than they.
Section 153 then goes on to prohibit the sexual touching of a person under 18 by a person in three circumstances: if he or she is in a "position of trust or authority" towards the youth, if the youth is in a "relationship of dependency" with him or her, or if the relationship is "exploitative".
The term "position of trust or authority" is not defined in the Code but the courts have ruled that parents, teachers, and medical professionals hold a position of trust or authority towards youth they care for or teach.