Sodomy on a Child
Utah Code Section: 76-4-403.1
76-5-403.1. Sodomy on a child.
(1)A person commits sodomy upon a child if the actor engages in any sexual act upon or with a child who is under the age of 14, involving the genitals or anus of the actor or the child and the mouth or anus of either person, regardless of the sex of either participant.
Defending Sodomy on a Child Case
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.
Jail/Prison time, fines & restitution
Sodomy upon a child is a first degree felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of:
(a)except as provided in Subsections (2)(b) and (4), 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 sodomy upon a child the defendant caused serious bodily injury to another; or
(ii)at the time of the commission of the sodomy upon a child, the defendant was previously convicted of a grievous sexual offense.
(3)Subsection (2)(b) 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
Persons convicted of sodomy on a child, attempting, soliciting, or conspiring to commit to commit sodomy on a child, are required to register as a sex offender for the rest of their lives. There is no possibility of removal from the register, and if the person moves states, the person is required to register in their new state.
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 sodomy o a child, a violation of Section 76-5-403.1; 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.