Is Trinkets' Luca, Um, Young Enough To Be Dating Teens?

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Warning: Mild spoilers for Trinkets are ahead.
Netflix's newest salacious teen drama is Trinkets, a show about high schoolers. But like Pretty Little Liars before it, the series' sees one of its characters engaging in a relationship with an older man. Luca and Tabitha's relationship in Trinkets is complicated because she's 16 when the series begins, and he's seemingly at least 20. But because of a unique Oregon consent law, they may technically not be breaking any laws by being together — since the show is set in Portland.
It all depends on how old Trinkets' Luca is. For one, he's definitely out of high school. He works as a bartender and lives in his own apartment (which he shares with his roommate/ex Sabine, played by Kat Cunning). By the end of the series, he moves into his own apartment. It's small, but it shows that he has the means to support himself the way an adult does. He also makes a comment to Tabitha at one point about how he "just can't be apart of [her] high school drama," signaling that he is older than her by at least a little bit.
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Photo: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images.
It's worth noting that this is the second time Luca actor Henry Zaga has played an older character dating a high schooler. In the first season of 13 Reasons Why, he played Brad, an older guy dating high schooler Tony (Christian Navarro). He also had a similar reason for breaking up with Tony in season 2, because he didn't want to deal with the "high school bullshit." Zaga's got this type of character down pat.
In Trinkets, Luca says that he left home the second he could, and that's when he moved to Portland. That likely means he moved there when he was 18. His roommate/ex Sabine says in episode eight that she met Luca a "couple [of] years ago" at a show. That would seemingly make him at least 20. And that's very important.
Oregon has what's called a "Romeo and Juliet" law, according to the Statesman Journal that allows consensual sexual activity between a minor and another person so long as the minor is within three years of age of the older person. Tabitha turns 17 in episode four, so, assuming that Luca is just 20, they would legally be covered to consensually be together.
However, Tabitha does initially kiss Luca in episode three when she is still 16. That's the same episode where Luca acknowledges that he knows she's in high school with all her "high school drama." Luca seems like a nice person, but his knowingly dating a high schooler — even with a three-years law in place — could rub some viewers the wrong way. Especially because it's possible Luca is actually older than 20, which would put him over the legal limit with Tabitha. The fact that he threw a wine party with Sabine practically screams at least early 20s, and the actor who plays Luca is actually 26.
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In the show, Luca says that he and Sabine didn't work out because "everything with her was so consuming" that he lost himself in the relationship — particularly because he had only just moved to Portland when he met her. He was a fish out of water in that situation and more susceptible to being pulled into something unhealthy.
Now, the same could be said for his relationship with Tabitha. She's coming off an abusive relationship and a complicated dynamic with her parents. She's young and vulnerable, and very much in the position to lose herself in a relationship with an older guy. Legal or not, this relationship with Luca isn't really Tabitha's healthiest move, and Luca, as the older person, should be more mindful of that.
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