Arkansas Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws

The sexual activities of two or more consenting adults is usually none of the state's business. However, some consensual sexual acts are considered crimes, such as those performed within public view. Laws regarding consensual sexual activities have changed, and continue to change, as social mores shift. For example, some states' sodomy laws were used to criminalize homosexuality (and non-procreative sexual acts in general) until 2003, when the U.S. Supreme Court found such laws unconstitutional.

Overview of Arkansas Laws Prohibiting Certain Consensual Sexual Acts

Like most states, Arkansas no longer has a statute prohibiting prohibiting sodomy by consensual adults, which were used to criminalize homosexual acts (states that do still have such statutes may not enforce them). Offenses involving consensual sexual acts include public sexual indecency, indecent exposure, and bestiality. Also, offering to pay for or requesting payment for sexual contact (sexual solicitation) is prohibited, as is the promotion of prostitution (pimping).

Additional provisions of Arkansas laws prohibiting certain kinds of consensual sexual activities are listed in the following table.

Applicability of Sodomy Laws   Consensual same-sex sodomy protected by U.S. Constitution (via Supreme Court: Lawrence v. Texas, 2003)
HIV Exposure and Compelled Testing for Offenders 5-14-123 Knowlingly exposing another person to HIV: Class A felony 16-82-101 Testing for HIV-Sexual offenses: if victim request it is mandatory defendant be tested if convicted of sexual assault
Other Crimes Relating to Consensual Sex Acts

5-14-111 Public sexual indecency: Class A misdemeanor

5-14-112 Indecent exposure: Class A misdemeanor

5-14-122 Bestiality: Class A misdemeanor

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the enactment of new legislation, higher court decisions, or other means. Be sure to contact an Arkansas criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Transmission of HIV

When someone has been charged with a crime and the nature of the crime indicates bodily fluids may have been exchanged, the victim may request an HIV test. This test, if approved and ordered by the judge, is mandatory. Knowingly exposing another individual to HIV is a Class A felony (six to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000).

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Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Under Arkansas Law: Related Resources

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