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8.178 Sexual Abuse—Defense of Reasonable Belief of Minor's Age

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8.178 SEXUAL ABUSE—DEFENSE OF REASONABLE BELIEF OF MINOR’S AGE (18 U.S.C. § 2243(c)(1))

It is a defense to the charge of [attempted] sexual abuse of a minor that the defendant reasonably believed that the minor had reached the age of sixteen. The defendant has the burden of proving that it is more probably true than not true that the defendant reasonably believed that the minor had reached the age of sixteen.

If you find that the defendant reasonably believed that the minor had reached the age of sixteen, you must find the defendant not guilty.

Comment

This defense applies only to offenses under 18 U.S.C. § 2243(a); see Instructions 8.174 (Sexual Abuse of Minor) and 8.175 (Attempted Sexual Abuse of Minor).