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Indiana Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws

So let’s say your friends dared you to “moon” someone. And maybe another friend took a cell phone picture and texted it to a few of your other friends. Could flashing your bare bottom mean you’ve committed a sex crime? And what about the photo and the text? It is only common sense that non-consensual sex like rape and sexual assault is illegal. But could consensual sexual activity get you into some hot water with the law? These laws aren’t quite as obvious or well-publicized, so here’s a brief summary of prohibited consensual sexual activity laws in Indiana.

Sexual Activities Laws

Each state has laws that prohibit certain kinds of consensual sexual activity. Normally these correlate with the social norms of that particular state, and tend to change with the times. Indiana’s prohibited consensual sexual activity laws include regulations found in most other states, like provisions for public indecency and indecent exposure. However, the state also requires mandatory testing and reporting if an HIV-positive person is convicted of a sex or drug crime that “created an epidemiologically demonstrated risk of [HIV] transmission” to another person.

Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws in Indiana

The main provisions of Indiana’s prohibited consensual sexual activity laws are listed in the following chart.

Sodomy Laws Applicable to


Penalty for Sodomy


HIV Exposure and Compelled Testing for Offenders

35-38-1-9.5 HIV testing required if convicted of sex crime or offense related to controlled substances

Other Crimes Relating to Consensual Sex Acts

35-45-4-1 Public indecency-indecent exposure: Class A misdemeanor; If a second such offense: Class D felony; non-public indecency-indecent exposure: Class C misdemeanor

Right to Breastfeed

16-35-6-1 Woman may breastfeed anywhere she has a right to be

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Indiana prohibits public and non-public indecency, covering behavior from public sex to non-public nudity intended to be seen by other people. The statute also contains a broad definition of nudity, including buttocks. So if you’re swimming or getting some sun, you might want to be careful about wearing a thong. While some states have exceptions in their indecency laws for breastfeeding, Indiana has a separate statute, guaranteeing that a woman may breastfeed her child in any place that she has a legal right to be.

Indiana Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws: Related Resources

Social attitudes regarding sex are subject to change, and state laws often follow suit. If you have been charged with a sex crime or would like to fully understand your rights, you can contact an Indiana criminal defense attorney in your area. You can also visit FindLaw's Sex Crimes section for more comprehensive information on this topic.

Learn More About Indiana Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws from a Lawyer

Even consensual sexual activity can be considered unlawful in certain situations, typically when it interferes with the rights of others. If you've been charged with violating Indiana prohibited consensual sexual activity laws, it's a good idea to contact a local sex crime attorney who can review the facts of your case and help you craft a solid defense.

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