New Jersey courts and law enforcement authorities take rape very seriously. Allegations of statutory rape fall into the category of sex crimes. It's important to understand how statutory rape is viewed under the law. If there are sexual relations with a person who is younger than the 'age of consent" under the law, that means the person who was underage was not legally able to agree to have sex.
With statutory rape, one person need not have forced the other to take part in the act. In that respect, it is different from other kinds of sexual assault such as forcible rape and the molesting of a child. The person who is underage might have agreed to take part. However, since they aren't of a legal age to give consent, it is still a crime. If the underage person is forced, there could be a more serious sexual assault charge filed.