In Indiana, the age of sexual consent is 16. However, this number is nearly arbitrary, as the law permits individuals aged 14 and 15 to consent to sex with anyone younger than 18. Thus, despite the age of majority, a 15-year-old and 17-year-old could legally have sex in Indiana, but if the older person were 18, it would be a crime.

Are There Any Exceptions?

Sort of. Indiana takes a few notable deviations from standard age of consent laws.

Marriage: Under Indiana law, it is a defense if the minor is married. The minimum age for marriage in Indiana is 15, and therefore there is an exception carved out to facilitate that.

Close-in-age: Technically, this "close-in-age" provision is a defense instead of an exception, but it allows a 4 year gap in age if the two are in an ongoing personal relationship. Thus, ostensibly, a an 18-year-old could avoid prosecution for having sex with a 14-year-old, provided the two were in an ongoing romantic relationship as defined by Indiana law.

Mistake of fact: Indiana is one of the few states that provides for a mistake of fact in their statutory rape laws. Thus, if someone has a reasonable, good-faith belief the individual they are having sex with is 16 or older, they can avoid criminal liability.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you believe you have violated Indiana's age of consent laws, you should contact an attorney near you immediately. A criminal defense lawyer can help you understand the law, what your options are, and represent you if the state decides to press charges.