TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - It's was a story Vigo County prosecutor, Terry Modessitt couldn't believe when he first became aware.
It all started in Crawfordsville, which is in Montgomery County.
Modesitt said a family adopted a 16 year boy with emotional issues. They sent the child to get some counseling. A 39 year old woman was trusted with that task.
The woman took off with the boy, ending up in Vigo County for several days. The two then engaged in sexual activity.
When the parents found out, they wanted to press charges. Modesitt, was the one who would do it.
However, there were no charges to be filed.
Indiana's Child Seduction law only makes illegal for school officials to have relations with minors over the age of 16.
Furthermore, in Indiana, the charge of child molestation applies when the child is under the age of 14. Sexual misconduct only applies to teens under 16.
So, the only charge that could be filed was "contributing to the deliquency of a minor" which is a misdemeanor. Modesitt was frustrated by the lack of clear laws.
"I said, well whenever, you can get someone to propose a bill on this, I would be able to testify in the state what the situation was and how this is a gap in the law and how we felt let down by the law in this area," Modesitt said.
Modesitt did testify at the statehouse. Last week the state senate unanimously approved a change to the Child Seduction law. The change says counselors, psychiatrists, and psychologists cannot have sexual relationships with teens 16 and 17 years old. It'll go before the house for approval next.
Because the original case happened years ago, a statute of limitations would prevent Modesitt from prosecuting the counselor, even if the bill passes.
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