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Mississippi Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws

We all know that “No” means no, and that nonconsensual sex such as rape and sexual assault are illegal. But what about when both parties say, “Yes?” Are there cases where consensual sex is against the law? Here is brief overview of prohibited consensual sexual activity laws in Mississippi.

Sexual Activities Laws

In many states, consensual sexual activity laws regulate even some voluntary sexual activities. These restrictions generally reflect the prevailing social norms or community concerns of the state at the time they were enacted. Some sex laws are subject to change over time, while others may be invalidated by court rulings. For example, while quite a few states may still have anti-sodomy or anti-same sex laws on the books, they have all been repealed or ruled unconstitutional.

Consensual Sexual Activity Laws in Mississippi

Mississippi has fairly standard prohibitions on prostitution, disorderly conduct, and indecent exposure. And although Mississippi’s anti-sodomy statute remains on the books, the United States Supreme Court overturned all sodomy laws in 2003. Mississippi’s prohibited consensual sexual activity statutes are listed in the table below.

Sodomy Laws Applicable to

Both sexes or with a beast

Penalty for Sodomy

97-29-59 Sodomy; up to 10 yrs.

HIV Exposure and Compelled Testing for Offenders

99-19-203 Any person convicted of sex offense after 7/1/94 shall be tested for HIV

Other Crimes Relating to Consensual Sex Acts

97-29-31 Indecent exposure (public): misdemeanor-Fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment up to 6 months or bot
97-35-3 Disorderly conduct: misdemeanor
97-35-11 Indecent exposure (private property): misdemeanor
97-35-15 Disturbance of public peace: misdemeanor

Legislators and law enforcement are normally reluctant to pass laws and prosecute what happens in a private bedroom, and the majority Mississippi’s prohibited sex acts are nonconsensual. And while the state does prohibit indecent exposure, the statute does include an exception for breastfeeding. Mississippi also has extensive statutes requiring all convicted sex offenders to be tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

More Resources Regarding Mississippi Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws

Prohibited sex laws can differ from state to state, and it can be tricky figuring out which ones are still valid. You can consult with a Mississippi criminal defense attorney in your area if you would like legal assistance regarding a sex crime matter, or if you have been charged with a sex offense. You can also find more resources and information on this topic in FindLaw's section on Sex Crimes.

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