Can teens be in a relationship with 21-year-olds?

Luzedith Ornelas and Evelyn Alejos

In Illinois when teens turn 17 years, they have the right to have a consensual relationship with someone. Different laws in Illinois support relationships between a teen and a 21-year-old, as well as of the consequences that can happen for dating an older person when young.

Some information we required was from the staff at Morton East High School, which also led us to online research with information. The law in Illinois “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Older Romeo and Juliet” both are similar and different laws relating to a teen sentimental relationship with a person they’re age or older.

Young adults can face consequences when they date someone younger. But as an adult, the chargers could lead to years of probation, a jail sentence and possibility prison. Sentences would likely be more severe if the convicted person has a criminal record. According to “An adult having any romantic relationship with a minor is regarded with suspicion, disapproved of all the mature people, and is fraught with potential liability and criminal”.

You should seriously think before dating a minor.   If you love that person, wait until they are 18 years old.

According to “Federal law makes it criminal to engage in a sexual act with another person who is between the age of 12 and 16 if they are at least four years younger than you. Each state takes a different approach as the age of consent has ranged from 10 to 18, in Illinois the age of consent is 17.”

Think about how you changed between the ages of 12 and 16. You will change that much again between the ages of 16 and 21. If a 21-year-old wants to date a 16-year-old, it’s because it is much easier to manipulate a 16-year-old. They haven’t had the life experience needed to keep themselves safe, in this case, it is safer to date someone your age.