A bill sponsored by State Senator Mike Bohacek (R-Michiana Shores) that would close the loophole in Indiana’s child seduction law will now move to the governor’s desk for his consideration.

House Enrolled Act 1228 would ensure that a coach of a youth sports organization or a workplace supervisor would be charged with the criminal offense of child seduction if the person engages in sexual activity with a child between the ages of 16 and 18. The bill would also enhance penalties for sex acts performed with a child under the age of 16.

Under current law, the age of consent is 16, which allows a child between the ages of 16 and 18 to engage in sexual relations with an adult over the age of 18 if the adult is not in a position of authority over the child.

“It’s really disgusting that this is something our society is still struggling with,” Bohacek said. “Closing this loophole is crucial in ensuring Hoosier children are not being taken advantage of, and I will keep working to expand punishments for people who prey on our youth.”

Bohacek worked with State Sen. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette) to make amendments to the bill after Alting was made aware of a similar issue in his district.

“Sen. Alting had good suggestions on how to help tighten the law to ensure the safety of Hoosier children,” Bohacek said. “I’m happy to have championed this bill in the Senate with Sen. Alting’s support, and I look forward to working with him on future legislation.

HEA 1228 received amendments from the Senate, which were unanimously concurred on in the House of Representatives.

To track the bill as it moves to the governor, click here.