INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that while the age of consent for sexual
activity in the state is 16, sending a 16-year-old a sexually explicit
photograph is a crime.
The high court
acknowledged the lawís inconsistency, but unanimously upheld the law in its
ruling on Monday, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.
The ruling says a
person who knowingly sends a sexually explicit photograph to someone under
age 18 is sharing material thatís harmful to minors, which is a felony.
Justice Mark Massa
said the court interprets the plain text of the law. He also said that itís
up to the Legislature to decide whether such inconsistency is judicious.
The ruling was
prompted by a case involving a former Porter County police officer who
allegedly sent sexually explicit photos of himself to a 16-year-old girl in
Oregon in 2014. The case was initially dismissed in Hamilton Superior Court
because of a 2009 Court of Appeals decision, which found the statute
regarding dissemination of harmful material was void because it was vague.
The state Supreme Courtís decision means the case will move forward.
The state Supreme
Court ruled that thereís no conflict between the statutes because itís
possible to comply with both simultaneously.
State Sen. Frank
Mrvan, D-Hammond, and state Rep. Linda Lawson, D-Hammond recently led
attempts to raise the stateís age of sexual consent to 18, but the efforts