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 In Garnett, the court addressed whether Maryland's statutory rape law required the State to prove whether the defendant knew the female victim was younger than 14 years of age and whether the trial court erred by excluding evidence 'that he had been told, and believed, that she was 16 years old.' Garnett, 332 Md. at 574, 632 A.2d at 798. In ruling that the defendant in Garnett could not present evidence that he was told and believed that the defendant had reached 16 years of age, the trial judge ruled that § 463(a)(3) requires proof of only three elements: (1) that there was vaginal intercourse; (2) that the complaining witness was, in fact, under 14 years of age; and (3) the defendant was at least four years older than the complaining witness with whom he had sexual intercourse. 332 Md. at 575, 632 A.2d at 799. The trial court concluded that statutory rape was a strict liability offense and, therefore, mistake of age could not be a defense. 


On appeal, the defendant argued that § 463(a)(3), which has no express mens rea requirement, should be judicially interpreted to allow a defense of a reasonable ...

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