Sexual Abuse of a Minor
Utah Code Section: 76-4-401
76-5-401.1. Sexual abuse of a minor.
(1)For purposes of this section "minor" is an individual who is 14 years of age or older, but younger than 16 years of age, at the time the sexual activity described in this section occurred.
(2)An individual commits sexual abuse of a minor if the individual is four years or more older than the minor and, under circumstances not amounting to rape, in violation of Section 76-5-402, object rape, in violation of Section 76-5-402.2, forcible sodomy, in violation of Section 76-5-403, aggravated sexual assault, in violation of Section 76-5-405, unlawful sexual activity with a minor, in violation of Section 76-5-401, or an attempt to commit any of those offenses, the individual touches the anus, buttocks, pubic area, or any part of the genitals of the minor, or touches the breast of a female minor, or otherwise takes indecent liberties with the minor, with the intent to cause substantial emotional or bodily pain to any individual or with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any individual regardless of the sex of any participant.
Jail/Prison time, fines & restitution
A violation is a class A misdemeanor and is not subject to registration under Subsection 77-41-102(17)(a)(iv) on a first offense if the offender was younger than 21 years of age at the time of the offense.
The defenses to a charge of Sexual Abuse of a Minor are typically: (1) challenging whether the alleged contact occurred; (2) challenging the requisite intent, specifically, claiming that the contact was incidental or unintentional (like picking up a child or changing a diaper); (3) challenging whether the Defendant was in fact in a position of "special trust" with the alleged victim.
The defense of these cases frequently require a jury to make a credibility determination between a child victim and an adult defendant. Cross examining a child is a very delicate matter and must be done carefully so as not to alienate the jury but still have a robust and effective cross examination. Such a cross examination requires an attorney with considerable skill and expertise.
Mistake of Age is No Defense
It is not a defense to the crime of sexual abuse of a minor, a violation of Section 76-5-401.1; or an attempt to commit either of the offense, that the actor mistakenly believed the victim to be 16 years of age or older at the time of the alleged offense or was unaware of the victim's true age.
Sex Offender Registration
77-41-105. Registration of offenders -- Offender responsibilities.
An offender who is convicted of an offense listed in Subsection 77-41-102(9)(a) or (17)(a), (which includes unlawful sexual activity with a minor), shall:
(i)register for the time period, and in the frequency, required by the jurisdiction where the offender was convicted if that jurisdiction's registration period or registration frequency requirement for the offense that the offender was convicted of is greater than the 10 years from completion of the sentence registration period that is required under Subsection (3)(a), or is more frequent than every six months; or
(ii)register in accordance with the requirements of Subsection (3)(a), if the jurisdiction's registration period or frequency requirement for the offense that the offender was convicted of is less than the registration period required under Subsection (3)(a), or is less frequent than every six months.
Exception: A defendant is not subject to registration under Subsection 77-41-102(17)(a)(iv) on a first offense if the offender was younger than 21 years of age at the time of the offense.