Utah Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws

Everyone knows that forcible sexual acts like rape and sexual assault are illegal. But what about sexual activities that are voluntary, or activities that don’t even seem sexual? For instance, did you know that the Beehive State prohibits exposure of the buttocks? So can you get in trouble for “mooning” your friends? And what if a friend takes a photo and shows it to someone else? This is an introduction to prohibited consensual sexual activity laws in Utah.

Sexual Activities Laws

While non-voluntary sexual acts are obviously prohibited, there are also voluntary sexual activities that are regulated under state consensual sexual activity laws. These guidelines often reflect the prevalent social norms of at the time the laws were created, and therefore are subject to change or override. For example, Utah still has an anti-sodomy law on its books, but any such law was blocked from being enforced by the United States Supreme Court in 2003 via the Lawrence v. Texas case.

Consensual Sexual Activity Laws in Utah

The table below lists Utah’s prohibited consensual sexual activity statutes.

Sodomy Laws Applicable to

Both sexes

Penalty for Sodomy

Utah Code 76-5-403: Sodomy

Class B misdemeanor

HIV Exposure and Compelled Testing for Offenders

Utah Code 76-5-501, et seq.: HIV Testing

At victim's request, person convicted of sex offense or attempted sex offense must be HIV tested

Other Crimes Relating to Consensual Sex Acts

Utah Code 76-9-102: Disorderly conduct

Class C misdemeanor if offense continues after a request to desist, otherwise it is an infraction;

Utah Code 76-9-702: Lewdness

Class B misdemeanor

Even though state courts and authorities are normally hesitant to police what happens in a private bedroom, Utah law does prohibit public and non-public indecency, and outlaws everything from flashing to public sex and even non-public exposure could be illegal if the person intends to be seen by other people. The state does explicitly protect the right of mothers to breastfeed in public. There are extensive statutes that require human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing in cases of sexual assault.

Utah Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws: Related Resources

State sex laws can vary, and the line between legal fun and illegal activity can seem murky. If you would like legal assistance regarding a sex crime matter, you can consult with a Utah criminal defense attorney. You can also find additional articles and information on this topic by visiting FindLaw's section on Sex Crimes.

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