Any sexual activity with a child under 16 is a criminal offence, regardless of whether consent is given. Any non-consensual sexual activity is also a crime, whatever the age of the victim and whatever the relationship between the victim and perpetrator.
Where a manipulative offender grooms a child prior to them reaching the age of consent and then engages in a sexual relationship with them when they are over 16, this could be prosecuted under offences such as Section 15a of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
We remain absolutely committed to protecting children and young people from sexual abuse and we already have a wide range of criminal offences under which to prosecute and sentence those who carry out such acts. We continue to keep this under review.