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"Romeo And Juliet" Law Now In Effect

Last updated on Tuesday, July 10, 2007

(UNDATED) - The age at which a person could legally consent to have sex in Indiana was previously 16.

But lawyers for young defendants accused of having sex with 14- and 15-year-olds now can pose what's called a ``Romeo and Juliet defense'' against charges of sexual misconduct with a minor.

A new law that went into effect July first creates a narrow defense for consensual sex among teenagers in a dating relationship if they are within four years age difference.

The defense can be used if the person accused of having sexual contact with a 14- or 15-year-old is under 21, is no more than four years older than the alleged victim and was involved in a dating relationship with the victim at the time.

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