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carnal knowledge

n. from Latin carnalis for "fleshly:" sexual intercourse between a male and female in which there is at least some slight penetration of the woman's vagina by the man's penis. It is legally significant in that it is a necessary legal characteristic or element of rape, child molestation, or consensual sexual relations with a female below the age of consent ("statutory rape"). Age of consent varies from 14 to 18, depending upon the state.

See also: rape  statutory rape 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications

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