Bills Seek To Raise Indiana Age Of Consent To 18
By Mike Perleberg
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Most adults in Indiana would no longer be able to have sex with high school sophomores under a pair of proposals under consideration at the Indiana Statehouse.
Indiana is one of 31 states where the age of consent is still 16. State Senator Frank Mrvan (D-Hammond) and State Rep. Karlee Macer (D-Indianapolis) have each introduced a plan to raise the age of consent in Indiana from 16-years-old to 18-years-old.
Both lawmakers’ bills would create a new crime of ‘indiscretion’ for anyone older than 22 who has sex with, fondles, or inappropriately touches a 16 or 17-year-old. Indiscretion would be listed as a sex offense.
With her bill, Macer says she’s attempting to reduce rates of sexual abuse, exploitation, and human trafficking.
“The sex trafficking industry has a much easier job finding victims in states where the age of consent is lower, and the teenagers are much more susceptible to coercion. The industry is able to hide behind loopholes, and that is something I believe shouldn’t be allowed,” she said.
Macer’s bill includes the additional step that a teacher’s license may be revoked and their employment contract cancelled if they are convicted of indiscretion.
The lawmaker says her bill makes a clear definition that a person between the ages of 18 and 23 can engage in a sexual relationship with someone as young as 16.
“I would not want to infringe on the Romeo and Juliet laws presently in place in Indiana,” Macer explained. “These laws in Indiana allow peers to engage in non-forced sexual activity as long as the two are within four years of age.”
Macer’s House Bill 1111 is awaiting a vote in the House Courts and Criminal Code Committee. Senate Bill 251 is currently in the Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee.