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Sex Crimes

Sex crime convictions can affect a person's life years after sentencing was successfully completed. Even false or exaggerated accusations can result in convictions with lasting consequences. With the widespread use of background checks and Sex Offender Registry requirements, this can even affect employment and housing opportunities. Make sure that you are fighting hard to combat the charges in order to avoid the consequences of a conviction.

Sex crime is a broad category that encompasses many specific crimes, including:

The information on this website is intended to help you learn more about the penalties and sentencing related to each individual offense. However, this is general information and should not be taken as legal advice. It is not a substitute for an attorney/client relationship. A criminal defense attorney can help you understand the charges you face and present you with favorable defense strategies based on your unique situation.

Salt Lake City Sex Crime Defense Attorney

As a Salt Lake City defense attorney, Darren M. Levitt represents men, women, and youth facing sex crime related charges. He understands that any alleged criminal offense, especially for a sex crime, is rarely straightforward. Constitutional right violations, improper investigation procedures, exaggeration or false accusations can be used to your benefit and create a solid defense strategy.

It's important to consider your legal options after being charged with a sex crime in Utah. Call 801-455-1743 or send an online message to learn more. During your free, no-obligation consultation, you will learn about the Utah criminal justice process for sex related offenses and the most favorable paths to take. However, it's best to seek legal counsel as soon after the initial arrest as possible. While you are waiting to act, the prosecution and investigators are building a case against you.


Utah Sex Crime Information Center


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Rape under Utah Code § 76-5-402

A person is guilty of committing rape when he or she has sexual intercourse with another person without the victim's consent. This is unlawful whether or not the actor is married to a victim. Rape is a first degree felony offense and depending on the circumstances surrounding the rape is punishable by mandatory imprisonment of:

  • Minimum of 5 years to life; or
  • Minimum of 15 years to life if it is found that the accused caused serious bodily injury to the victim; or
  • life without parole if the defendant was previously convicted of a grievous sexual offense

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Rape of a Child under Utah Code § 76-5-402.1

In Utah, a person is guilty of committing rape of a child when he or she has sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 15. This is a first degree felony offense, punishable by a mandatory imprisonment period of:

  • 25 years minimum to life in prison; or
  • Life without parole if it is found that:
    • The defendant caused serious bodily injury to the child during the course of the rape; or
    • The defendant had previously been convicted of a grievous sexual offense.

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Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor under Utah Code §76-5-401

In this section, a "minor" is a person between 14 and 16 years old at the time of the sexual activity. Unlawful sexual activity with a minor is a separate offense than rape, object rape, forcible sodomy, or aggravated sexual assault.

A person is guilty of unlawful sexual activity with a minor if he or she:

  • Has sexual intercourse with the minor;
  • Engages in any sexual act with the minor involving the genitals of one person and the mouth or anus of another person, regardless of the sex of either participant;
  • Causes the penetration, regardless of the extent, of the genital or anal opening of a minor by a foreign object, substance, instrument, or device, including a part of the human body, with the intent to cause substantial emotional or bodily pain to any person or with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, regardless of the sex of the participant.

Unlawful sexual activity with a minor is considered a third degree felony offense, unless it is established that the defendant was less than four years older than the minor at the time of the sexual activity, in which case it is a class B misdemeanor.


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Sexual Abuse of a Minor under Utah Code § 76-5-401.1

As defined in this section, "minor" refers to a person 14 years old or older, but younger than 16 years old at the time of the sexual abuse. The sexual abuse addressed does not include offenses amounting to rape, object rape, aggravated sexual assault, unlawful sexual activity with a minor, or the attempt to commit any of the listed offenses.

A person is guilty of sexual abuse of a minor if the actor is seven years older or more than the minor and touches the genitals, anus, buttocks, breast of a female minor, or otherwise takes liberties with the minor or causes the minor to take indecent liberties with the actor or another person. This is considered a class A misdemeanor offense.


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Forcible Sexual Abuse under Utah Code § 76-5-404

A person is guilty of committing forcible sexual abuse if the victim was 14 years of age or older at the time of offense and in circumstances not amounting to rape, object rape, sodomy, or attempted rape or sodomy. This criminal offense occurs when the actor touches the breast of a female, anus, buttocks, or genitals of another person, or takes indecent liberties with the actor of another, with intent to cause substantial emotional or bodily pain to any person or with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, without the consent of the other, regardless of the sex of any participant.

Forcible sexual abuse is a second degree felony offense, punishable by between 1 and 15 years imprisonment. However, if it is found that the defendant caused serious bodily injury to another person during the offense, the punishment is between 15 years and life imprisonment.


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Aggravated Sexual Assault under Utah Code § 76-5-405

It is unlawful for person to commit aggravated sexual assault. The person is guilty of committing this offense if he or she, during the course of the rape, object rape, forcible sodomy, or forcible sexual abuse:

  • uses or threatens the victim with the use of a dangerous weapon;
  • compels or attempts to compel the victim to submit to rape, object rape, forcible sodomy, or forcible sexual abuse by threat of kidnapping, death, or serious bodily injury to be inflicted imminently on the victim and / or another person; or
  • is aided or abetted by one or more persons.

A person may also be guilty of aggravated assault if, in the course of an attempted rape, attempted object rape, attempted forcible sodomy or attempted forcible sexual abuse, the person:

  • causes serious bodily injury to any person;
  • uses or threatens the use of a dangerous weapon to the victim;
  • attempts to compel the victim to submit to rape, object rape, or forcible sodomy by threat of kidnapping, death, or serious bodily injury to be inflicted imminently on any person; or
  • is assisted by one or more persons.

Aggravated sexual assault is considered a first degree felony offense. The sentencing for this offense is as follows, unless the court finds it is in the interests of justice to provide a lesser sentence:

  • rape, object rape, forcible sodomy, or forcible sexual abuse:
    • Minimum of 15 years to life; or
    • Life without parole if the defendant was previously convicted of a grievous sexual offense.
  • attempted rape, attempted object rape, or attempted forcible sodomy:
    • Minimum of 10 years to life; or
    • Life without parole if the defendant was previously convicted of a grievous sexual offense.
  • attempted forcible sexual abuse:
    • Minimum of 6 years to life; or
    • Life without parole if the defendant was previously convicted of a grievous sexual offense.

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Sexual Exploitation of a Minor under Utah Code § 76-5b-201

It is a second degree felony offense for a person to engage in the sexual exploitation of a minor. This criminal offense occurs when a person:

  • knowingly produces, possesses, or possesses child pornography with intent to distribute; or
  • intentionally distributes or views child pornography; or
  • if the person is the parent or legal guardian of a minor and knowingly consents to or permits the exploitation of the minor.

Please note that it is a separate offense for each minor displayed in the child pornography and for each time the same minor is depicted in different child pornography. Additionally, proof of the actual identity of the identifiable minor is not required to prove the offense.


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Sexual Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult under Utah Code § 76-5b-202

It is unlawful for a person to engage in the exploitation of a vulnerable adult. This is considered a third degree felony offense. A person is guilty of this offense if he or she:

  • knowingly produces, possesses, or possesses vulnerable adult pornography with intent to distribute;
  • the vulnerable adult who appears or is depicted in the pornography lacks the capacity to consent to the conduct performed or engaged in the pornography.

Under this statute, it is a separate offense for each vulnerable adult depicted in the vulnerable adult pornography and for each time the same vulnerable adult is depicted in different vulnerable adult pornography. Proof of the identity of the identifiable vulnerable adult is not required in proving a violation of this Section.


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Sodomy / Forcible Sodomy under Utah Code § 76-5-403

Sodomy is a class B misdemeanor under this Section. It is charged when the actor engages in sexual conduct with a person 14 years old or older, involving the genitals of one person and mouth or anus of another person, regardless of the sex of either participant.

Forcible sodomy is a first degree felony offense. A person is guilty of this crime if he or she causes serious bodily injury to the victim during the course of the sodomy. This is punishable by imprisonment of:

  • Minimum of 5 years and life; or
  • Minimum of 15 years and life if the defendant was found to have committed serious bodily injury to another person during the act of the forcible sodomy; or
  • Life without parole if the defendant had been previously charged with a serious sexual offense.

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Consequences of a Sexual Offense Conviction

If convicted of a sexual offense in Utah, you will face jail time, fines and a criminal record. The penalties get worse if you have a prior sexual offense on your record.

A sex crime conviction also means you may have to register as a sex offender. Sex offender registration ensures you will be stigmatized, possibly for life. With such heavy penalties, it is critical that those charged with a sexual offense contact an attorney.


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Utah Sex Crime Resources

Utah Sex and Kidnap Offender Registry – The state Sex and Kidnap Offender Registry contains the name and location of persons convicted of certain sexual offenses (categorized under Utah Code § 77-27-21.5). The Utah Department of Corrections is responsible for the maintenance of these records.

Utah Violence & Injury Protection Program – The Utah Department of Health provides information, resources, and crisis counseling for victims of sexual crimes and domestic violence. The state Department of Health also compiles statistics on Utah sexual assault crimes.

Utah Megan's Law Information – Megan's Law was enacted to provide protection to victims of crime. The law includes affirmation of the right to due process, the right to be informed and present at criminal justice hearing, and other matters. Learn more about Utah's victim's rights law.

Salt Lake City Rape Recovery Center – The Utah Rape Recovery Center is dedicated to empowering victims of sexual violence through education, advocacy, crisis intervention, and therapy. The Center has helped the local community for over 30 years and has received numerous awards and recognition.

2035 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84105
(801) 467-7282

Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice: Reported Crime Statistics – The Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice was created by the state legislature to promote criminal justice objectives and coordinate statewide initiatives to reduce victimization. This link contains a compilation of Utah crime statistics, including rape.

Utah Victims Services Office – Operated by the Utah Department of Corrections, the Victim Services Office provides support and resources for victims whose victimizers are in the custody of the Department of Corrections.  All services are administered confidentially.

Contact: Doug Fawson
Mailing Address:
Department of Corrections
14717 South Minuteman Drive
Draper, UT 84020

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Finding the Best Utah Sexual Offense Attorney

If you have been charged with a sex crime in Salt Lake City, Park City, Layton, Morgan, or any of the surrounding communities, contact Levitt Legal today. A conviction for a sex crime can have serious repercussions on your future. Make sure that you are using every tool at your disposal to combat the charges. Call 801-455-1743 to discuss your best legal defense strategies with Darren M. Levitt.

Levitt Legal - Criminal Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah
266 East 500 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
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801-455-1743 (phone)

801-355-8658 (fax)

The information provided on this site is for general information purposes only. The information you obtain at this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your own individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Use of this website or submission of an online form, does not create an attorney-client relationship.

The hiring of a Utah Criminal Defense Attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements, informational videos, a blog, or an internet website. Before you decide which attorney to hire for your case, ask us to send you free additional written information about our qualifications and experience.
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