The U.S. Supreme Court sided with a Mexican immigrant who was deported for having sex with a minor.
The court made the unanimous decision that, even though Juan Esquivel-Quintana violated the statute under California law, he did not violate immigration law, the New York Post reported.
Esquivel-Quintana had sex with his then 16-year-old girlfriend before and after his 21st birthday, putting him on the wrong side of the California law that prohibits sex with anyone under the age of 16 for anyone over 18 years of age.
The defendant has been in the United States since he was a 12-year-old that moved here with his parents. Esquivel-Quintana is a legal permanent resident but has been in Mexico since being deported by federal immigration courts.
But the Supreme Court ruled, in a decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas, that Esquivel-Quintana did not break the federal law which requires the victim to be under the age of 16, according to the Post.
“The generic crime of sexual abuse of a minor may include a different age of consent where the perpetrator and victim are in a significant relationship of trust,” the decision read. “As relevant to this case, however, the general consensus from state criminal codes points to the same generic definition as dictionaries and federal law: Where sexual intercourse is abusive solely because of the ages of the participants, the victim must be younger than 16.”
Esquivel-Quintana intends to move back to the United States.
Justice Neil Gorsuch did not participate in this case as it was argued before he joined the court.
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