WARSAW, Ind. (WANE) — When a woman accused a Warsaw pastor of imprisoning her in a sexual relationship 27 years ago when she was just 16 years old, questions were raised.
Isn’t the age of consent 16 in Indiana? Wouldn’t that be beyond the statute of limitations?
The Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s Office has said it is investigating the allegations, but could Pastor John Lowe II actually face criminal charges?
Former Allen County Deputy Prosecutor Laurie A. Gray said the matter could see its day in court.
Gray said a case could be made for a felony Child Seduction charge. According to Indiana Code, a person who has a professional relationship with a child age 16-18 and who has influence on the child and engages in sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct commits sexual seduction.
But is it too late? It depends.
Gray explained the statute of limitations limits how long cases can be filed, but while that limit would have expired if the alleged misconduct indeed happened 27 years ago, it could be lengthened.
When the state first discovers evidence of child seduction, prosecutors have five more years to commence a prosecution, Gray said.
Gray added much of the proceeding will depend on how the child seduction statute was read 27 years ago, though, when the incident is said to have happened.
The Kosciusko County prosecutor has refused to comment on the incident other than to confirm an investigation.