Sodomy is a sex crime under Kentucky law. It’s a type of rape which, depending on the circumstances, can result in up to a prison sentence of fifty years to life. Under state law, these crimes involve what the legislature considers to be “deviate sexual intercourse” when one of the parties does not consent, is not capable of consent, is of a certain age or there’s a relationship of trust or authority between the two individuals.
State statutes have four different degrees of sodomy, with different elements for the prosecution to prove and different levels of potential punishment. The fourth degree of sodomy, which involves consenting adults, has been ruled unconstitutional and can’t be enforced.
There are important terms in the statute that need to be defined.
- “Deviate sexual intercourse” – An act of sexual gratification involving the sex organ of one party and the mouth or anus of the other or the penetration of the anus of one person by a foreign object manipulated by another.
- “Forcible compulsion” – Physical force or the threat of it, either explicit or implied, placing a person in fear of immediate death, physical injury to the person or another, fear of the immediate kidnapping of the person or another, or fear of a sex crime.
- “Individual with an intellectual disability” – A person with substantially less than average intellectual functioning and deficits in adaptive behavior (conceptual, social and practical skills we learn in order to function in our daily lives).
- “Mentally incapacitated” – A person is temporarily incapable of understanding or controlling his conduct due to an intoxicating substance given to him, or another act committed against him, without his consent.
- “Person of authority” – Includes, but isn’t limited to, a parent, stepparent, foster parent, relative, household member, adult youth leader, recreational staff or volunteer who is an adult; adult athletic manager, adult coach, teacher, classified school employee, certified school employee or counselor; staff or volunteer for either a residential treatment facility, a holding facility or a detention facility; staff or volunteer with a youth services organization, religious leader, health-care provider or employer.
The potential maximum incarceration for the different classes of felony are:
- Class A: Between twenty and fifty years or life imprisonment
- Class B: Between ten and twenty years
- Class C: Between five and ten years
- Class D: Between one and five years.
A person convicted of sodomy also becomes a registered sex offender.
The different degrees of the crime of sodomy under Kentucky law are:
- First – The accused engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another by forcible compulsion or the person is not capable of consenting because he or she is physically helpless or younger than twelve years old. This is a Class B felony unless the victim is under twelve years old or is seriously, physically injured, in which case the crime is a Class A felony.
- Second – The accused is eighteen years old or older, engaging in deviate sexual intercourse with another who is younger than fourteen years old or who with someone who is mentally incapacitated. This is a Class C felony.
- Third –
- The accused engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another who isn’t capable of consent because he or she has an intellectual disability
- The accused is twenty-one years old or older, engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another who is younger than sixteen years old
- The accused is twenty-one years old or older, engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another who is younger than eighteen years old and for whom he or she provides a foster family home
- The accused is in a position of authority or special trust, engages in deviate sexual intercourse with someone younger than eighteen years old with whom he or she comes into contact due to his or her position
- The accused is a jailer, or an employee, contractor, vendor, or volunteer for the Department of Corrections, Department of Juvenile Justice, or a detention facility or of an organization under contract with them and he or she subjects another who is incarcerated, supervised, evaluated or treated by the Department of Corrections, Department of Juvenile Justice, detention facility, or contracting entity, to deviate sexual intercourse
- This is a Class D felony.
Just because you have been charged with sodomy doesn’t mean you will be convicted of the crime. You may have several valid defenses which may result in charges being dropped, a plea bargain agreement involving a guilty plea to a less serious offense or a finding by a jury that you’re not guilty. Each case is unique, and the facts of the situation are critical to an effective defense.
If faced with a sodomy charge, you should not hesitate. Call Dan Carman today. He has capably represented clients charged with sodomy in Lexington and throughout Kentucky, and he is ready to help you in your fight for justice.