The phrase “statutory rape” is commonly associated with sexual activity between a minor and an adult, but the state of Utah has multiple laws relating to statutory rape offenses. Unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old applies to both consensual and nonconsensual encounters when an alleged victim is 16 years of age or older but less than 18 years of age, and sexual abuse of a minor is the law that relates to the commission of nonconsensual sexual acts such as rape or forcible sodomy against a victim 14 years of age or older but younger than 16 years of age.
Unlawful sex with a minor is the crime that a person may be charged with as the result of engaging in consensual sex with a person 14 years of age or older but younger than 16 years of age. The age of the alleged offender can be especially important in these types of cases, as unlawful sex with a minor is a felony offense that may be charged as a misdemeanor when the age difference is less than four years at the time of the alleged offense.
Were you arrested or do you think that you might be under investigation for unlawful sex with a minor in Utah? You should exercise your right to remain silent until you have the opportunity to contact Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law.
Susanne Gustin is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Salt Lake City who aggressively defends clients in communities throughout Salt Lake County and Weber County. Call (801) 243-2814 right now to have our lawyer provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.
Utah Code § 76-5-401 establishes that a person 18 years of age or older commits unlawful sexual activity with a minor—defined for purposes of this section as a person 14 years of age or older, but younger than 16 years of age, at the time the alleged sexual activity occurred—if, under circumstances not amounting to rape, object rape, forcible sodomy, or aggravated sexual assault, he or she:
Unlawful sexual activity with a minor is a third degree felony, but the offense is a class B misdemeanor if the alleged offender establishes by a preponderance of the evidence the mitigating factor that he or she was less than four years older than the minor at the time the sexual activity occurred.
The difference between the possible sentences for misdemeanor and felony unlawful sexual activity offenses is significant.
A class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. A third degree felony conviction, however, is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Additionally, a felony unlawful sexual activity conviction will also require a person to register as a sex offender for 10 years. Many locations, such as public playgrounds, community parks open to the public, and public swimming pools, become off-limit zones for people convicted of sex crimes against minors.
Unlawful Sex with a Minor Resources in Salt Lake County
Title 76, Chapter 5, Part 4 Utah Criminal Code | Sexual Offenses — View the full text of all state laws for statutory rape offenses as well as other sex crimes in Utah. Unlawful sexual activity with a minor, sexual abuse of a minor, unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old, and unlawful adolescent sexual activity are covered under Utah Code §§ 401-401.3. You can also read laws relating to sex crimes that may be charged in some cases, such as rape, sodomy, and custodial sexual relations or misconduct with youth receiving state services.
Statutory Rape: A Guide to State Laws and Reporting Requirements | Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning And Evaluation (APSE) — The ASPE advises the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services on policy development in health, disability, human services, data, and science. It also provides advice and analysis on economic policy. You can download the ASPE report as a PDF and also view a summary of state laws, including reporting requirements. The website notes that “Utah’s reporting requirements define as reportable offenses some activities that are legal according to the state’s criminal code.”
If you believe that you could be under investigation or you were already arrested for unlawful sexual activity with a minor in Utah, it is in your best interest to quickly retain legal counsel. Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law represents individuals in areas all over Weber County and Salt Lake County.
Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer Susanne Gustin will fight to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case that results the fewest possible penalties. You can have our attorney review your case and answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (801) 243-2814 or complete an online contact form to receive a free, confidential consultation.
This article was last updated by Jordan Anderson, on July 30th, 2018.