New Law Decriminalizes Some Teen Sex in Indiana
In the United States, the age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. Individuals aged 15 or younger in Indiana are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape. Indiana statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age A close in age exemption allows teens aged 14 and 15 to consent to partners under age If the offender is a guardian, adoptive parent or grandparent, stepparent, child care worker for the minor, or military recruiter attempting to enlist the minor, the age of consent rises to age Defenses exist of the offender had reasonably believed the victim to be over age 16, or if offender and victim were less than 4 years apart and were in an ongoing relationship.
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Indiana has a close-in-age exemption. A close in age exemption , also known as "Romeo and Juliet law", is designed to prevent the prosecution of underage couples who engage in consensual sex when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both are below the age of consent.
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Depending on the situation, the Indiana close-in-age exemption may completely exempt qualifying close-in-age couples from the age of consent law, or merely provide a legal defence that can be used in the event of prosecution. The Age of Consent ranges state-by-state from 16 to 18 years old across the United States.
Click the map to view any state's age of consent laws. The age of consent in Indiana is based on the following statutes from the Indiana criminal code:. Johnson said the change doesn't lower the age of consent. It modifies a law that made sexual misconduct with a minor a separate offense from child molesting as a way of dealing with teenage sexuality, Johnson said. The defense can be asserted if the person accused of having sexual contact with a or year-old is under 21, is no more than four years older than the alleged victim and was involved in a dating relationship with the victim at the time.
Indiana Statutory Rape Laws
Sex with a person under 14 is still considered child molesting, regardless of the age of the perpetrator. But the new law could protect an year-old from adult felony charges if he has sex with a year-old girlfriend, for instance.
Landis said the law change arose from concern that the ever-widening set of crimes that force people to register as sex offenders was having unintended consequences. Year after year, more offenses were added to the list of convictions requiring registration.