What is Consensual Sex in Utah?

Consensual Sex Is Defined by Utah Statute

What is not consensual sex under Utah law?

Utah law defines what is not consensual sex, which definition goes far beyond the attack on the remote running path.

Whether sex is consensual has been the topic of many a court case. One party stating it was not consensual sex, the other party having the opposite perception. The issue of consensual sex has come up over the years so much in both civil and criminal cases that the Utah legislature found it important enough to actually define instances that do not constitute consensual sex. These examples have been codified in the Utah Code. They include:

  • When the victim actually uses words or conduct which express a lack of consent.
  • When the defendant used physical force or violence to overcome the victim.
  • When the defendant overcomes the victim through concealment or the element of surprise. This is an interesting one. The statute does not explain more than this so in terms of how it is different from using force or violence is a little confusing. How would one use “concealment” or the “element of surprise” to have sex with someone without also using force or violence?
  • When the defendant coerces the victim to submit to having sex because the defendant threatens to retaliate against the victim in the immediate future.
  • Sex with an unconscious person or with a person who is not aware it is happening or with a person who can’t physically resist.
  • Sex with a person who has a mental defect who can’t really judge as to the nature of what’s going on.
  • When the person submits because he or she thinks the other person is his or her spouse. It would be interesting to see how someone could pull this off.
  • Administering a substance without the victim’s knowledge such as drugs and alcohol which will impair the individual to a degree that makes him or her incapable of controlling his actions.
  • The victim was a minor and the defendant was a parent, stepparent, adoptive parent or legal guardian or was otherwise in a position of special trust to the victim.
  • The defendant is under 18 but more than 3 years older than the victim and the victim is 14 or older and the defendant entices or coerces the victim submit.
  • The defendant is a health care professional or a religious counselor and the act is provided as part of the diagnosis, counseling or treatment and the victim believes it was necessary as part of the treatment.

First Degree Felony Charges When No Consensual Sex Involved

When a prosecutor is alleging that there was no consensual sex involved in a situation he will almost almost bring first degree felony charges against the defendant, which if convicted, will generally carry mandatory prison time including life in prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration.