An excerpt from KansasCity.com:
Heather Strawn was 14 years old when she became pregnant by her then 24-year-old boyfriend, Aaron Seaton, who had plied her with alcohol before having sex with her inside his camper parked next to the I-I Fly shop in Ashton, Idaho.
Across the nation, that is statutory rape.
But Heather insisted that she cared for Seaton. So, instead of turning the young man in to police, Strawn, in August 2015, packed the family into his car.
On the day of Heather’s 15th birthday, when she was nine weeks pregnant, they drove through the night, 17 hours and more than 1,100 miles, to Kansas City to marry her off. That way, the baby would be born within wedlock. And the police, Strawn thought, would be kept at bay.
In Idaho, the couple would have had to go before a judge to be married, risking arrest.
But in Missouri no judge is needed. All that is necessary is the signature of one parent.
From 1999 to 2015, more than 1,000 15-year-olds married in Missouri. Of those, The Star’s review of data shows, more than 300 married men age 21 or older, with some in their 30s, 40s and 50s. Assuming they had premarital sex, those grooms would be considered rapists.