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Rape of a Child

Utah Code Section: 76-4-402.1

Elements

 

76-5-402.1.  Rape of a child

A person commits rape of a child when the person has sexual intercourse with a child who is under the age of 14.

 

 

Defenses

As with most rape cases, the jury will be required to make a credibility judgment between the child and the defendant.  Whether the child has been coached, pressured by an estranged spouse or family member with a motive against the defendant, whether the child has the mental capacity to understand right from wrong, accurately remember events, and distinguish reality from fiction all play a role at the time of trial.  ​

Children are typically interviewed at Children Justice Centers by persons who have received training in forensic interviews with children.  However, this is not to say that the interviews are always done correctly.  An incorrect interview, a suggestion of an answer, or use of words that might improperly influence a child all occur at the forensic interview.  

Mistake of Age No Defense

76-2-304.5.  Mistake as to victim's age not a defense

(1)It is not a defense to the crime of rape of a child, a violation of Section 76-5-402.1; or an attempt to commit rape of a child, that the actor mistakenly believed the victim to be 14 years of age or older at the time of the alleged offense or was unaware of the victim's true age.

Jail/Prison time, fines & restitution

 

Rape of a child is a first degree felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of:

(a) Not less than 25 years and which may be for life; or

(b)life without parole, if the trier of fact finds that:

(i)during the course of the commission of the rape of a child, the defendant caused serious bodily injury to another; or

(ii)at the time of the commission of the rape of a child the defendant was previously convicted of a grievous sexual offense.

Life without parole does not apply if the defendant was younger than 18 years of age at the time of the offense.

(4)(a)When imposing a sentence under Subsection (2)(a) and (4)(b), a court may impose a term of imprisonment under Subsection (4)(b) if:

(i)it is a first time offense for the defendant under this section;

(ii)the defendant was younger than 21 years of age at the time of the offense; and

(iii)the court finds that a lesser term than the term described in Subsection (2)(a) is in the interests of justice under the facts and circumstances of the case, including the age of the victim, and states the reasons for this finding on the record.

(b)If the conditions of Subsection (4)(a) are met, the court may impose a term of imprisonment of not less than:

(i)15 years and which may be for life;

(ii)10 years and which may be for life; or

(iii)six years and which may be for life.

(5)Imprisonment under this section is mandatory in accordance with Section 76-3-406.

 

Sex Offender Registration

 

A conviction of rape of a child, or a conviction of attempt, solicitation or conspiracy to rape a child is a lifetime registerable offense under UCA 77-41-106. 

 
Removal from Sex Offender Registry in 5 Years

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There is a possibility of removal from the sex offender registry within 5 years of the termination of the sentence (the end of probation) under the following conditions:

 

The offender was convicted of:

(1) Kidnapping, and the conviction is the only conviction for which the offender is required to register;

(2) Unlawful Detention, and the conviction is the only conviction for which the offender is required to register;

(3) Unlawful sexual activity with a minor and, at the time of the offense, was not more than 10 years older than the victim; or

(4) Unlawful sexual conduct with a 16 or 17 year old, and at the time of the offense, was not more than 15 years older than the victim;

 

Requirements:

(b)five years have passed since the completion of the offender's sentence;

(c)the offender has successfully completed all treatment ordered by the court;

(i)the offender has not been convicted of any other crime, excluding traffic offenses, as evidenced by a certificate of eligibility issued by the bureau;

(ii) "Traffic offense" does not include a violation of Title 41, Chapter 6a, Part 5, Driving Under the Influence and Reckless Driving;

(e)the offender has paid all restitution ordered by the court;

(f)the offender has complied with all the registration requirements at all times as required in this chapter, as evidenced by a document obtained by the offender from the Utah Department of Corrections, which confirms compliance; and

(g)the office that prosecuted the offender, and the victim, or if the victim is still a minor, the victim's parent, are notified and provided with an opportunity to respond in accordance with Subsection (3)(a).