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Kentucky Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws

We’re all aware that nonconsensual sexual activities like rape and sexual assault are against the law. But how does the law treat sexual activity where both parties say, “Yes"? Here's an introduction to prohibited consensual sexual activity laws in Kentucky.

Sexual Activities Laws

Even some voluntary sexual activities are regulated under state consensual sexual activity laws, and in most instances, these restrictions reflect the social norms of that particular state at the time they were enacted. That being the case, some sex laws are subject to change over time. For example, while many states had anti-sodomy or anti-same sex laws, all of them have been repealed or ruled unconstitutional.

Consensual Sexual Activity Laws in Kentucky

Like most other states, Kentucky has prohibitions on prostitution and indecent exposure. Kentucky’s sodomy prohibition, though it remains on the books, was struck down by the Kentucky Supreme Court in 1992. The table below highlights the specifics Kentucky’s prohibited consensual sexual activity laws.

Code Section

Kentucky Revised Statutes 510.010, et seq.: Sexual Offenses

Kentucky Revised Statutes 529.010, et seq: Prostitution Offenses

Sodomy Laws Applicable to

Same sex; Note: This section has been held unconstitutional in Com. v. Wasson 842 S.W. 2d 487

Penalty for Sodomy

510.100 Sodomy in the 4th degree: Class A misdemeanor

HIV Exposure and Compelled Testing for Offenders

510.320 Upon conviction of sexual activity crime, court shall order HIV testing of defendant

Other Crimes Relating to Consensual Sex Acts

510.150 Indecent exposure: Class B misdemeanor

Most state authorities are reluctant to legislate and prosecute what happens in a private bedroom, and nearly all of Kentucky’s prohibited sex acts are nonconsensual, meaning the vast majority of voluntary sex acts are legal under state law. The state does prohibit indecent exposure, but only with intent to affront or alarm, meaning the victims most likely did not provide their consent.  There is also an extensive statutes covering scenarios for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing for both alleged (non-mandatory) and convicted (mandatory) sex offenders.

Kentucky Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws: Related Resources

State sex laws on can differ, and tend to change along with societal attitudes regarding sex. You can contact an Kentucky criminal defense attorney in your area if you have been charged with a sex offense or would like legal advice with a sex crime matter. You can also visit FindLaw's Sex Crimes section for additional articles and information on this topic.

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