Iowa Age of Consent & Sex Laws Iowa Age of Consent Laws 2024

What is the Iowa Age of Consent?

The Iowa Age of Consent is 16 years old. In the United States, the age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. Individuals aged 15 or younger in Iowa are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape.

Iowa statutory rape law is violated when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with an individual under age 16. A close in age exemption allows teens aged 14 and 15 to consent to partners less than 4 years older. Regardless of age, it is also illegal for a school employee to engage in sexual intercourse with a current student or even a student who attended school within 30 days of such a violation.

View list of sexual assault laws & punishments in Iowa

Iowa has a close-in-age exemption. A close in age exemption, also known as "Romeo and Juliet law", is designed to prevent the prosecution of underage couples who engage in consensual sex when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both are below the age of consent.

Depending on the situation, the Iowa close-in-age exemption may completely exempt qualifying close-in-age couples from the age of consent law, or merely provide a legal defence that can be used in the event of prosecution.

Age of Consent across the United States

The Age of Consent ranges state-by-state from 16 to 18 years old across the United States. Click the map to view any state's age of consent laws.

Age Of Consent:

16 years old
17 years old
18 years old

The age of consent in Iowa is based on the following statutes from the Iowa criminal code:

Iowa Age Of Consent Law:
Section 709.4 A person commits sexual abuse in the third degree when the person performs a sex act under any of the following circumstances... 2(c) The other person is fourteen or fifteen years of age and any of the following are true...(4) The person is four or more years older than the other person.

Section 709.15 forbids sexual intercourse between a school employee and person who is currently enrolled in or attending a public or nonpublic elementary or secondary school, or who was a student enrolled in or who attended a public or nonpublic elementary or secondary school within thirty days of any violation

Punishments for Violating the Age Of Consent in Iowa

Iowa has seven statutory sexual abuse charges on the books which are used to prosecute age of consent and child abuse related crimes within the state. One or more of these charges may be used to prosecute violations of the Iowa Age of Consent, as statutory rape or the Iowa equivalent of that charge.

The severity of the criminal charge (felony, misdemeanor, etc) depends on the specifics of the acts committed and the relative ages of the perpetrator and victim. Click any charge for more detailed information.

Criminal Charge Severity Punishment
Indecent contact with a child Aggravated misdemeanor Up to 1 year in prison
Lascivious acts with a child Class C felony; Class D felony Up to 5 years in prison
Lascivious conduct with a minor Serious misdemeanor Up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,875
Sexual abuse- second degree Class B felony Up to 25 years in prison
Sexual exploit of a minor Class C felony Up to 10 years in prison
Sexual exploitation of a minor Class C felony Up to 10 years in prison
Sexual misconduct with offenders and juveniles Aggravated Misdemeanor Up to 1 year in prison

Back to list of state ages of consent View international ages of consent

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