It's well-known that nonconsensual sexual activities are against the law. Examples of such activities are rape and sexual assault, but what happens when both parties consent to an act that is considered illegal?
While everyone knows that non-consensual sex is illegal, certain consensual sexual activities can get you into legal trouble in Kentucky as well. These laws aren't quite as obvious or well-publicized.
Continue reading for an introduction to consensual sexual activities prohibited by law in Kentucky.
Sexual Activities and Related Laws
Each state has laws that prohibit certain kinds of consensual sexual activity.
Louisiana's prohibited consensual sexual activity laws include regulations found in most other states, like laws against public indecency and indecent exposure. However, the state also makes it a misdemeanor for someone who is HIV positive to expose another person to the virus.
It's also important to address laws that have historically targeted consensual sex between same-sex couples. In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Lawrence v. Texas that Texas' same-sex sodomy law was unconstitutional. It was ruled that prohibitions on consensual sexual activity between adults was and is an invasion of relevant privacy laws.
As a result of the Lawrence case, laws in other states targeting consensual sex between same-sex couples were also invalidated. These laws were also recognized as unconstitutional.
At the same that the Supreme Court recognized such laws as allowing for unconstitutional invasions of privacy, the Court also recognized that sodomy laws had another negative consequence. They allowed for discrimination against a protected group of people. Implied in the court's ruling was the following question: why could one sexual demographic of persons benefit from relevant privacy laws, while another could not?
In Louisiana, laws related to sodomy can no longer be used to target consensual sex between same-sex couples.
Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws in Louisiana
Some parts of Louisiana's prohibited consensual sexual activity laws are listed in the following chart:
|In Louisiana, sodomy can fall within the scope of "crimes against nature," when the parties to this sexual activity do not consent or it's a case of statutory rape.
Penalty for Sodomy
|Under 14§89, penalties vary based on circumstance. For a crime against nature, an offender faces a fine of up to $2,000, imprisonment for up to five years, or both a fine and imprisonment. However, if one of the two parties is under the age of 18, the offender faces a fine of up to $50,000, imprisonment for up to 15 years, or both a fine and imprisonment. If one of the two parties is under 14 years old, the offender faces a fine of up to $75,000, imprisonment for up to 25 years, or both a fine and imprisonment.
HIV Exposure and Compelled Testing for Offenders
|Under 15§535, a court may order that an offender submit to a blood and saliva test, when the offender is convicted. For intentional exposure to HIV, an offender faces a fine of up to $6,000, imprisonment for up to 11 years, or both a fine and imprisonment.
|For the crime of obscenity, an offender faces a fine of between $1,000 and $2,500, imprisonment for between six months and three years, or both a fine and imprisonment. If obscenity is deemed part of a person's employment, these penalties can be adjusted according to a court's discretion. In cases of second or subsequent violations, the offender faces between two and five years in prison, a fine of between $5,000 and $10,000, or both imprisonment and a fine. If the offense occurs in the presence of an unmarried person under 17 years of age, the offender shall face a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment for between two and five years, or a fine and imprisonment. Under these circumstances, the offender will not receive parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. Depending on the specifics of the offense, the penalties can vary. It's important to speak with a lawyer or review the laws of Louisiana for more information.
Louisiana prohibits public and non-public indecency, covering behavior from public sex to non-public nudity intended to be seen by other people. These laws are not very well-known, and it's possible that someone urinating in public could even find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Again, during major events or festivals throughout the state, this kind of behavior may become rampant. That doesn't necessarily mean you won't be arrested or charged for doing so.
Research the Law
Consider reviewing the following resources for more information about all laws in Louisiana, including those related to prohibited sexual activities:
- At Louisiana Law, you'll find links to all laws within the state, including those related to prohibited sexual activities.
- At Official State Codes, you'll be able to review the official laws of all 50 states (including Louisiana) and the District of Columbia.
Consider reviewing the following resources for more information about laws related to sexuality:
Louisiana Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws: Related Resources
Social attitudes regarding sex are often changing, and state laws are constantly evolving as well. If you have been charged with public indecency, a sex crime, or would like to fully understand your rights, you can contact a criminal defense attorney in your area. You can also visit FindLaw's Sex Crimes section for more comprehensive information on this topic.