What is Forcible Sodomy?
The term “sodomy” is understood to mean one thing in the layman’s world, but has a more expansive meaning in the legal world. Sodomy is the legal term used for both oral and anal sex, both of which were illegal in Utah until May of 2019. Consensual sodomy is no longer illegal in the State of Utah that consensual sodomy became legal in Utah.
Today only forcible sodomy – sodomy performed without the other’s consent – is illegal.
What are the penalties of forcible sodomy?
Obviously any nonconsensual sexual act is illegal and carries stiff criminal penalties. Forcible sodomy is a first degree felony and carries a minimum of five years to life in prison. There are circumstances in which that minimum mandatory sentence can be more than the five to life. Specifically, if during the act serious bodily injury was caused to the victim or if the victim was under 18 years of age and the defendant had previously been convicted of a grievous sexual offense then the court may send the defendant to prison for a minimum of 15 years to life. Further, if the defendant has previously been convicted of a grievous sexual offense the court may send the defendant to prison for life without parole. Ultimately, even if the court makes the findings described above, it still has the discretion “in the interests of justice” to give a lesser sentence of 6 or 10 years to life.
To read the complete statute on this topic refer to Utah Code 76-5-403.
Sodomy on a child
If an individual commits sodomy on a child the penalties become even more serious with a minimum of 25 years to life unless certain other circumstances and facts apply that can reduce the sentence to as low as six years to life. To see all of the mitigating circumstances refer to Utah Code 76-5-403.1.
Being charged with forcible sodomy or sodomy on a child requires the best defense possible. No corners can be cut. That is where we come in. We’re some of the most experienced sex crimes defense attorney in Utah. Give us a call at 801-413-1753 to discuss your case.