North Dakota Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws

Any type of sexual activity that is non-consensual is a criminal act by definition. However, there are some instances where even consensual sexual activities may be prohibited by state law, typically when it involves third parties. For example, having intercourse in a public park or exposing yourself to passers by would both be considered illegal under virtually all state laws. While a number of states continue to have anti-sodomy laws that criminalize "unnatural" sex acts (and target LGBT individuals), the U.S. Supreme found these laws unconstitutional -- and thus unenforceable -- in 2003.

North Dakota Laws Prohibiting Certain Consensual Sexual Acts

As in most other states, North Dakota prohibits public sexual acts, exposing one's self in public, and other consensual sexual acts considered offensive to others. The law also prohibits "deviate sexual acts," defined by statute as "any form of sexual contact with an animal, bird, or dead person."

Additional provisions of North Dakota laws prohibiting certain kinds of consensual sexual activities are listed in the following table. See FindLaw's Sex Crimes section to learn about prohibited non-consensual sex acts.

Sodomy Laws Applicable to North Dakota sodomy laws repealed in 1973
Penalty for Sodomy N/A
HIV Exposure and Compelled Testing for Offenders 12.1-20-17 HIV transfer of body fluid: Class A felony (affirmative defense-transferred by consensual sex) 23-07.7-01 If victim petitions court may order defendant charged with sex offense under Chap. 12.1-20 to be HIV tested
Indecent Exposure

12.1-20-12.1

1. A person, with intent to arouse, appeal to, or gratify that person's lust, passions, or sexual desires, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if that person:

a. Masturbates in a public place or in the presence of a minor; or

b. Exposes one's penis, vulva, or anus in a public place or to a minor in a public or private place.

A person is guilty of a class C felony if it is a second or concurrent offense; or the person was required to register as a sex offender. It is a class B felony if the offense took place within 50 feet of a school.

Fornication

12.1-20-08

An individual is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if the individual engages in a sexual act in a public place. A minor engaging in a sexual act is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.  

Deviate Sexual Act

12.1-20-12

A person who performs a deviate sexual act with the intent to arouse or gratify his sexual desire is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time through the enactment of newly signed legislation, decisions made by higher courts, and other means. You may want to contact a North Dakota criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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