What Types of Consensual Sexual Activity are Prohibited?
While the state generally has no business peering into people's bedrooms, certain types of sexual activities are prohibited by law even if they're consensual. Since matters of sex, at least in public discourse, are subject to societal norms at the time, these laws have changed with the times (typically lagging several years). For instance, it wasn't until 2003 that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that state laws banning sodomy and enforced primarily against gays and lesbians were unconstitutional. Other types of sexual activity typically prohibited by state laws include exposing oneself in public or having sex in public.
Minnesota Prohibited Consensual Activity Laws at a Glance
Minnesota statute prohibits indecent exposure, charged as either a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony. According to state law, indecent exposure is to willfully and "lewdly" expose your private parts, "procure" someone else do the same, or engage in any "gross lewdness or lascivious behavior." It becomes a gross misdemeanor if done in the presence of a minor or on subsequent charges, and a felony if it involves confining another person or multiple charges of encouraging another person to expose him or herself.
Additional information about Minnesota's laws prohibiting certain types of consensual sexual activity can be found in the following table.
|Sodomy Laws Applicable to||Not applicable|
|Penalty for Sodomy||Note: Minnesota code section 609.293 (Sodomy: misdemeanor) was recognized as unconstitutional in In Re Proposed Petition to Recall Hatch, 628 N.W. 2d 125|
|HIV Exposure and Compelled Testing for Offenders||609.2241 Knowing transfer of communicable disease: if crime involved sexual penetration with another person without having first informed the other person that the person has a communicable disease; if crime involved transfer of blood, sperm ... except for medical research; if crime involved sharing of nonsterile needles; penalty is as provided under attempt, assault, and murder statutes 611A.19 Victim may request HIV test of convicted sexual offender|
|Other Crimes Relating to Consensual Sex Acts||617.23 Indecent exposure: misdemeanor|
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Minnesota criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Minnesota Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws: Related Resources
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