Joss Stone's boyfriend could face rape charges because she is under the age of consent in America. The 17-year-old star's lover, Beau Dozier, 25, could be prosecuted in Joss's adopted home of California - where the age of consent is 18, rather than 16 in her native Britain. The pop sensation's move into Beau's Los Angeles home last year has outraged conservative Americans who say Beau, the son of legendary Motown songwriter Lamont Dozier, should face charges of statutory rape. The critics have flooded internet chatrooms with messages of condemnation and concern. One American mother wrote: "I would not be comfortable if my teenage daughter was dating a man of 25." The storm of controversy has also placed the singer's contract as the new face of Clothes store Gap at risk. Joss's parents are also said to be deeply concerned with the outrage, and announced through a family spokesperson: "She's not living or staying with her boyfriend - she's in the care of his family."

Meanwhile, Lamont Dozier has publicly supported his son saying he had serious words with Beau after the pair started dating but was now satisfied with the situation

He said: "She's a British citizen and the legal age there is 16."