If a 17 year-old boy has sex with a 13 year-old girl, can the girl’s parents have him arrested?

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If a 17 year-old boy has sex with a 13 year-old girl, can the girl’s parents have him arrested?

I have a friend who’s son is 17; he turns 18 in 05/11. His girlfriend is 13; she turns 14 in 02/11. The girl’s mother caught her sneaking out of the house, so as punishment, since she knows about her daughter’s older boyfriend, she is going to take her to the doctor and have them test her to see if she’s had sex. If indeed she has, she said she’s going to call the police and have him arrested. On finding out her plans, he got scared and admitted that they did have sex. Twice. Exactly what can happen? Can they just come cuff him? Will he be tried before a judge? Will he be imprisoned?

Asked on December 23, 2010 under Criminal Law, Indiana

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In IN, the "age of consent" is 16. This means that someone can only legally agree to have sex when they are at least this age. Therefore the 17 year-old violated the law by having sex with a 13 year-old; that is with somone who is not capable of "legally" consenting to a sexual act.  In IN, sexual intercourse or deviate sexual conduct with someone less than 14 years of age is called "child molestation".  If this boy is charged with a violation and sent to juvenile court, there is no way of knowing what type of punishment a family court judge might recommend. However, a conviction can carry a penalty for a fixed term of 10 years with up to 10 years added or 4 subtracted for aggravating and mitigating circumstances.

Note:  It doesn't matter how old they will both be; all that matters is the age that they were at the time that the offense was committed.


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