People who are accused of sex crimes against minors or children in Utah should understand the state’s laws on these offenses.
People who live in Salt Lake City and find themselves charged with a sexual crime against a child or a minor can be unsure of where to turn and what to expect. Learning the facts about the different types of charges and the associated consequences for convictions can be helpful in these situations.
The Utah State Legislature outlines multiple offenses for these crimes such as rape, sexual assault of a child and more. Following is a description of each:
- Rape of a child is charged for sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 14. Object rape of a child is charged as well if the act involved objects other than body parts to penetrate the child. This is a first degree felony in Utah and a conviction for these crimes carries a minimum incarceration sentence of 25 years. Jail time can be as long as life depending upon the circumstances.
- Sodomy of a child also involves child victims under 14 years old. This charge pertains to acts involving the anus or genitals of the alleged perpetrator and either the mouth or anus of the child. As a first degree felony, this charge carries jail sentences between 25 years and life.
- Sexual abuse of a child includes the attempt to commit rape or sodomy on a child 13 years old or younger by anyone over the age of 18 or older and is considered to be a second degree felony in Utah. An aggravated sexual abuse of a child charge is a first degree felony.
- Sexual abuse of a minor is similar to sexual abuse of a child but is the charge used when the alleged victim is 14 or 15 years old and the defendant is at least seven years older. These charges are generally third degree felonies but can also be considered Class A misdemeanors.
The charge of unlawful sexual activity with a minor involves sexual activity with a 14- or 15-year old and is either a third degree felony or a Class B misdemeanor. Unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year old can be charged for persons seven years older.
What should defendants do?
Because of the severe penalties associated with convictions for any of these crimes, it is important than anyone accused of such an offense in Utah contact an attorney immediately. Securing the right legal assistance for a criminal defense is the right of all defendants.
Keywords: sex crime, arrest, charges