An Oklahoma high school football player has been charged with four counts of first degree rape after allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl. Joshua Andrew Peckio, 18, was a starting lineman for the McAlester High School Buffaloes this school year when he was first accused of sex with the underage girl. An investigation began after the girl wrote a note to a friend saying that she was afraid she might be pregnant, and the friend's parent discovered the note. The parent told the girl's grandmother, with whom the girl and her sister were living. Peckio was also living in the home. Police became involved after a youth pastor reported the incident. Reports say the 13-year-old girl and her older sister, described in different sources as either 15 or 16, admitted that they had sex with Peckio. The alleged victim says that the sex was consensual. While the age of consent in Oklahoma is 16, the state has a close-in-age stipulation that would not make consensual sex between a 15-year-old and an 18-year-old a crime; however, sex between an adult aged 18 or older and a minor under the age of 14 is rape. By law, this act is charged as first degree rape, not second degree or statutory rape, regardless of apparent consent. Had Peckio been one year younger or the girl one year older, the offense would be statutory rape. What a difference that year would make. Both first and second degree rape are felony sex crimes that mandate lifetime sex offender registration. However, the associated prison terms are much different. Whereas second degree rape is punishable by a term of 1 to 15 years in prison, first degree rape is punishable by 5 years to life. Oklahoma law defines rape as non-consensual sexual intercourse. In cases of second degree rape, a "victim" may have given verbal consent or otherwise acknowledged consent, but he or she is legally unable to do so. Without legal consent, the act is deemed non-consensual. First degree rape includes the following acts, as defined in 21 O.S.§ 1114:
- rape committed by a person over eighteen (18) years of age upon a person under fourteen (14) years of age; or
- rape committed upon a person incapable through mental illness or any unsoundness of mind of giving legal consent regardless of the age of the person committing the crime; or
- rape accomplished where the victim is intoxicated by a narcotic or anesthetic agent, administered by or with the privity of the accused as a means of forcing the victim to submit; or
- rape accomplished where the victim is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act and this fact is known to the accused; or
- rape accomplished with any person by means of force, violence, or threats of force or violence accompanied by apparent power of execution regardless of the age of the person committing the crime; or
- rape by instrumentation resulting in bodily harm is rape by instrumentation in the first degree regardless of the age of the person committing the crime; or
- rape by instrumentation committed upon a person under fourteen (14) years of age.