Fact Check

Trump Signs Law to Lower the Age of Consensual Sex to 13?

Reports about President Trump's lowering the age of sexual consent in the U.S. are recycled fake news.

Published Nov 23, 2015

 (Shutterstock)
Image Via Shutterstock
Claim:
President Trump has signed a bill lowering the age of sexual consent to 13.

On 23 November 2015 the web site Now8News published an article positing that President Obama had signed a bill that would soon lower the age of sexual consent in the U.S. to 13:

An announcement was made on Monday by the Obama Administration which states a new law that will take effect March 1, 2016 and Americans are shocked and disappointed. According to the announcement, the law concerning the age of consent will be changed across all 50 states and D.C. Currently the law varies in each state with the age of consent being 16, 17, and 18 years old with age provisions and mistake of age defense clauses. ... This new law will make any and all contact legal as long as the child is 13 years of age or older. Now that they have done away with the age-gap provision, a 19-year-old boy can legally have sex with a 13-year-old girl without suffering any legal consequences as long as they both consent to the act.

Some social media users attributed the purported legislation to the advancement of a "homosexual agenda," while others (as in the example tweet embedded above) described it as a harbinger of "Sharia law." But the report involving that purported legislation was just another fabrication that originated with Now8News, a fake news site that doesn't feature a disclaimer warning readers they publish fiction.

On 22 February 2017, Now8News dusted the same piece off for another go-around, this time attributing the putative sexual consent law change to President Donald Trump:

An announcement was made on Wednesday by the Trump Administration which states a new law that will take effect April 1, 2017 and Americans are shocked and disappointed. According to the announcement, the law concerning the age of consent will be changed across all 50 states and D.C. Currently the law varies in each state with the age of consent being 16, 17, and 18 years old with age provisions and mistake of age defense clauses. Currently, according to lawyers and court officials across the US, these varying laws cause confusion from state to state. This new law is looking to create a uniformed, understood age of consent factor across the entire country.

The claim, like Now8News, remains just as fake as it always was.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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