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WILLIAMS V. UNITED STATES, 327 U. S. 711 (1946)

U.S. Supreme Court

Williams v. United States, 327 U.S. 711 (1946)

Williams v. United States

No. 123

Argued December 10, 1945

Decided April 1, 1946

327 U.S. 711


1. The Assimilative Crimes Act penalizes, when committed within a federal enclave, any act "which is not made penal by any laws of Congress," but which is an offense under the law of the State in which such enclave is located. The Arizona "statutory rape" law fixes 18 as the age of consent. Section 279 of the Federal Criminal Code, defining the crime of carnal knowledge, fixes 16 as the age of consent.

Held: that the Assimilative Crimes Act did not make the Arizona law applicable to the case of a married white man who, within the Colorado River Indian Reservation in Arizona, had sexual intercourse with an unmarried Indian girl then over 16 but under 18 years of age. P. 327 U. S. 716.

2. So held because (1) the very acts upon which conviction would depend have been made penal by the laws of Congress defining adultery, and (2) the offense known to Arizona as "statutory rape" has been defined and prohibited by § 279 of the Criminal Code, which section is not to be redefined and enlarged by application to it of the Assimilative Crimes Act. P. 327 U. S. 717.

148 F.2d 960, reversed.

Page 327 U. S. 712

Petitioner was convicted in the federal District Court of an alleged offense committed within the Colorado River Indian Reservation in Arizona. The Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of conviction. 148 F.2d 960. This Court granted certiorari. 326 U.S. 701. Reversed, p. 327 U. S. 725.

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