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Consensual Fling brings rape charge


A Wyoming man faces a rape charge after his Internet romance with a Meridian 17-year-old escalated into a mutually consensual tryst. Ada County Sheriffs found Dennis Michael Barnes, 22, in a parked car with the girl on the night of March 19. Deputies found evidence of rape-namely, that the girl was under 18. Period.

"Statutory rape no longer exists in Idaho code," explained Lieutenant Scott Johnson of Ada County Sherrif's Department. "The mere fact that she is under the age of 18 makes it rape by statute."

According to the Sheriff's Department, Barnes and the girl had chatted online for several months, and had met in several locations over the past two weekends. If convicted, Barnes could face life in prison. He would also have to register as a convicted sex offender for the rest of his life.