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In most circumstances, it's also illegal for someone older than 18 to have sex with someone younger than 16, under the state's laws on sexual misconduct with a minor.

But the law makes allowances: Someone younger than 16 can have legal consensual sex with someone who is within four years of age older and still under 21, if they're in an ongoing relationship.

Two, to add some kind of provision that would make it illegal for much older adults to have sexual relationships with teens.

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.

The key question that lawmakers likely would consider: What's the difference in your judgment at age 16 and age 18?

At 16, you're old enough to get a learner's permit but not your driver's license. But one local criminal justice expert says that with possible changes to the age of consent in Indiana, lawmakers also would have to carefully define who can have sex with whom.

Raising the age of consent would defy national trends of decriminalizing consensual sex, Decker said.

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