Why Rep. Kerry Gauthier's Sex with Teen Wasn't Illegal

By Andrew Lu on August 23, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Minnesota state lawmaker Kerry Gauthier is being urged to step down from his reelection bid after being caught allegedly having oral sex with a teen behind a vehicle rest stop.

The democratic representative is said to have put up a Craigslist ad looking for "no strings attached" sex at the rest stop and a 17-year-old boy responded, reports the New York Daily News.

A state trooper who had responded to an unrelated complaint of a man urinating on a woman's car caught the lawmaker with his zipper down behind the rest area building. While Gauthier faces a world of embarrassment, it's interesting to note that he doesn't face a single criminal charge.

So why were Kerry Gauthier's actions legal? Especially given the fact that he is accused of having sex with a teen?

The answer is that having sex with another consenting adult (regardless of how you meet) is not necessarily illegal. Even if you meet via Craigslist and have a rendezvous behind a rest stop, the sex act by itself may not be illegal.

In Minnesota, the age of consent is only 16 for statutory rape laws. So the 17-year-old boy that Gauthier had sex with is considered an adult and legal. Had the boy been a year younger, Gauthier could have been charged with rape, regardless of whether the act was consensual.

Also, as money did not exchange hands in the transaction, Gauthier could not be charged with soliciting a prostitute. The two apparently met over Craigslist and agreed to the sex act with literally no strings attached.

Police reports indicate that Kerry Gauthier came clean about the incident, including having sex with the teen, reports the Daily News.

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