-- Two northwestern Minnesota teenagers from Becker County -- considered juveniles -- have recently been charged with felony crimes that not all teens or their parents even know about.
And when those laws are broken — even unknowingly — it stops becoming a parental decision and starts becoming a legal matter. The state has defined an appropriate age of consent, and under Minnesota statute, people cannot have any type of sexual contact with a child under the age of 16 if they are more than 24 months older than them.“Sexual contact is also defined as breasts and inner thigh areas,” said Becker County Investigator Kathy Nguyen, who says the level of charges is determined by how far those teens go.“And it doesn’t matter what the gender is; if it’s the female that is the older one, she’s the one in trouble,” said Nguyen.That means, for example, that teens as close as a 15 and a 17 year old or a 14 and 16 year old, depending on their birthdates, could be in violation of the law if their relationship becomes sexual in nature.“Just dating in and of itself isn’t illegal,” said Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander.Alyssa, 17, a high school senior in Miami, was texting a new guy she thought was cute. New York magazine’s The Cut website described the Tinder crowd as “single people who hang out at bars,” and it’s become known for facilitating hookups and last-minute dates among those in their 20s and 30s.They were setting up a date when he sent a message that shocked her. To enter a bar, however, you usually have to be 21; the age of admission to Tinder is just 13—and Alyssa’s hardly the only teen on the app.But what happens when these seemingly harmless dating apps find their way onto your teens’ phone?