Statutory Rape or Unlawful Sex with a Minor Charges

What is Statutory Rape?

Salt Lake City statutory rape defense.

Statutory rape (unlawful sexual activity with a minor) occurs between an adult and a minor.

In Utah, the term statutory rape is not actually used in the Utah Criminal Code.  The term is used to refer to laws in Utah prohibiting sexual activity with minors.  It does not matter if a victim consents to the sexual activity; a person can still be convicted of statutory rape based only on the victim’s age.  A Salt Lake City Prosecutor does not need to prove lack of consent, coercion, or violence to meet the burden of proof.  The prosecutor only needs to prove a person was 14 years or older but less than 18 years in order to obtain a conviction.  Statutory rape in Utah is divided into two categories of crimes depending on the age of the victim.

A person can be charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor when the person has sexual intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, or any variations of those types of sex with a person who is 14 or 15 years of age.  Unlawful sexual activity with a minor is a third degree felony and can carry a punishment of up to 5 years for each incident of the offense.  So, if a person had sex with a 15 year old 5 times, the person could be convicted 5 times and serve up to 25 years in prison.

Unlawful Sexual Activity with a 16 or 17 Year Old

Unlawful sexual activity with a 16 or 17 year old occurs when a person has sexual intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, or other sexual contact, such as touching a female’s breasts, and the perpetrator is 7 years or older than the victim.  The age difference does not matter if the perpetrator holds a special relationship of trust as a teacher, employee or volunteer over the victim.  Depending on the circumstances of the sexual activity, unlawful sexual activity with a 16 or 17 year old is a class A misdemeanor or a third degree felony.

There are some defenses to statutory rape charges so it is important for anyone facing such charges to immediately contact a Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer.  Our attorneys will do everything they can to keep people facing charges out of jail or prison.  Call 801.618.1333 to find out more about your rights as a criminal defendant and what you can do to avoid ending up on the sex offender registry.

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