Utah Rape and Sexual Assault Laws

Utah has a number of rape and sexual assault laws. The penalties range in severity based upon factors such as the closeness in age of the victim and defendant, whether the victim was a minor, and the degree of violence used.

For example, the crime of unlawful sexual activity with a minor is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. However, if the defendant was less than four years older than the minor at the time of the sexual activity, it is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in prison and up to $1,000 in fines. The following is a brief summary of Utah rape and sexual assault laws.

Utah Rape and Sexual Assault Laws

The following table outlines rape and sexual assault laws in Utah.

Code Sections

UTAH CODE ANN. ยง 76-5-401 et seq.
What is Prohibited?

Rape:

Having sex with another person without their consent. (It is rape of a child if the victim was under 14 years of age.)

Object rape:

Penetrating another person's genital or anal opening with the intent of causing substantial emotional or bodily pain or arousing or gratifying a person's sexual desire. (It is object rape of a child if the victim was under 14 years of age.)

Aggravated sexual assault:

During the rape, object rape, forcible sodomy or sexual abuse, the defendant threatened the victim with use of a dangerous weapon, compelled or attempted to compel the victim to submit to any of the above crimes by threatening kidnapping, death, or imminent serious bodily injury, or was aided by one or more people. (It is also aggravated sexual assault if the defendant attempted any of the above crimes and caused serious bodily injury, threatened the victim with a dangerous weapon, compelled the victim to submit by using any of the above threats, or was aided by one or more people.)

Unlawful sexual activity with a minor:

Having sex, engaging in sodomy, or penetrating the genital or anal opening of a minor with the intent of causing substantial emotional or bodily pain or arousing or gratifying a person's sexual desires.

Forcible sexual abuse:

Touching another person's anus, buttocks, genitals, female breasts, or taking indecent liberties or causing another person to take indecent liberties with the defendant or another person, without consent, with the intent of causing substantial emotional or bodily pain or arousing or gratifying a person's sexual desires, and the victim is 14 years of age or older.

It is sexual abuse of a minor if the victim was a minor, the defendant was at least 7 years older, and held a relationship of special trust.

It is unlawful sexual conduct with a 16-17 year old if the defendant was at least 7 years older and knew or reasonably should have known the victim's age or held a relationship of special trust.

It is sexual abuse of a child if the person was under 14 years of age.

It is aggravated sexual abuse of a child if the defendant used a dangerous weapon, acted by force, duress, violence, intimidation, coercion, menace, or threat of harm, committed the act during a kidnapping, caused bodily or severe psychological injury, was a stranger to or made friends with the victim for the purpose of committing the crime, used or showed pornography, caused the victim to be photographed lewdly, was previously convicted of a sexual offense, committed the same or similar sexual act upon two or more victims during the same course of conduct, more than 5 separate acts during, before or after the instant offense, had a relationship of special trust with the victim, encouraged, aided, allowed, or benefitted from prostitution, sexual acts or performances by the victim, human trafficking, or human smuggling, or caused the penetration of the child's genital or anal opening.

Sodomy:

Engaging in a sexual act with a person 14 years of age or older which involves the genitals of one person and mouth or anus of another person. (It is forcible sodomy if the sexual act was done without consent and it is sodomy on a child if the victim was under 14 years of age.)

Penalties

Rape, object rape, forcible sodomy, sodomy with a child, and aggravated sexual abuse of a child are first-degree felonies punishable by up to life imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.

Unlawful sexual activity with a minor is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. If the defendant was less than four years older than the minor at the time of the sexual activity, it is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in prison and up to $1,000 in fines. Sodomy is also a Class B misdemeanor.

Forcible sexual abuse and sexual abuse of a child are second-degree felonies punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. If the defendant caused serious bodily injury to another person, it is a first-degree felony.

Sexual abuse of a minor and unlawful sexual conduct with a 16-17 year old, are Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to 1 year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. If the defendant was 18 years of age or older and held a position of special trust as a school employee or volunteer while the minor was a student at the same school, it is a third-degree felony.

Utah Rape and Sexual Assault Laws: Related Resources

If you have been charged with a rape or sexual assault crime and need help, you may want to contact a Utah criminal defense attorney. You can also visit FindLaw's sections on Rape, Sexual Assault Overview, and Sex Offenders and Sexual Offenses: Overview for more articles and information on these topics.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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