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Can a 14- or 15-year-old consent to sexual activities?

| May 13, 2021 | Sex Crimes |

Love knows no bounds, and it is not unusual for one adult to develop a sexual relationship with a much older adult. However, there are limits on such activities, specifically involving those below the age of consent under Indiana law.

Indiana’s age of consent laws

Indiana, like all other states has age of consent laws that dictate how old a person must be to agree to engage in non-forced sexual activities. Under Indiana law, 16 is the age of consent. This means that, even if someone under age 16 agrees to engage in sexual activities, it is illegal for an adult to engage in sexual activities with that person because under Indiana law a person under age 16 is mentally uncapable of consenting to such activities.

“Romeo and Juliet” laws

There is an exception to the age of consent laws. Referred to as a “Romeo and Juliet” law, a person of age 14 or 15 can legally engage in non-forced sexual activity with persons who are no more than four years older than themselves and are under age 21 as long as they are in a committed relationship. Moreover, national trends are swinging more towards decriminalizing consensual sex.

Learn more about sexual assault crimes

With the minor exception of those close in age, Indiana still takes a tough stance against adults engaging in sexual activities involving a person under age 16. Sexual assault is a serious crime that could lead to significant prison time, fines and a criminal record. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those in Indiana who want to learn more about sexual assault crimes can explore our firm’s website for further information. The criminal justice system can be confusing and intimidating. Kammen & Moudy can offer you the experienced support you need.