What is Lewdness?
Lewdness is when a person exposes his genitalia or other privates areas, masturbates, or commits some kind of sexual act in the presence of another knowing that such actions will likely cause affront or alarm to the other person. For example, simply “mooning” someone, as so many juvenile-minded people do, is considered lewdness and is a class B misdemeanor.
What is Lewdness Involving a Child?
Although both are sex crimes, lewdness involving a child is different from regular lewdness in a couple of respects.
- First, and most obvious, regular lewdness does not involve children under the age of 14 years old, whereas lewdness involving a child is lewdness committed in the presence of a child under 14 years old.
- Second, regular lewdness must be committed in a public place, whereas lewdness involving a child can be committed in a public or a private place.
- Third, if the lewd act is exposing one’s private areas, the person who commits the lewdness does not have to know that his actions would cause affront or alarm to the child if the the act is committed in a public place. If the defendant exposes his private areas in a private place then the defendant had to have known or should have known that his act would cause the child affront or alarm or he had to have done it with the intent to arouse or gratify his own sexual desires or that of the child.
- Fourth, for lewd acts such as masturbation and sexual intercourse or sodomy the actor does not have to have cause affront or alarm to the child. Committing the act is enough.
- Fifth, lewdness with a child is committed by causing the child to expose his private areas with intent to arouse or gratify either the defendant’s or the child’s sexual desires.
- Finally, lewdness with a child is a class A misdemeanor unless it is a repeat offense or the defendant was a sex offender at the time the acts were committed, then it is a felony.
Charges With Lewdness Involving a Child?
If so, contact St George Criminal Defense Lawyer for a free consultation at 435.215.1101. Our defense attorneys are experienced with sex crimes throughout Southern Utah. We’d be happy to talk to you about your case and assess your defenses and likelihood of success in defending against such claims.