Same-Sex Sex Offenses
Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct, Sodomy, and Gross Indecency
In Michigan, a person can be charged with a sex crime under many separate statutes, including criminal sexual conduct (CSC), sodomy, and gross indecency. Under these statutes, both same-sex (same-gender) and opposite-sex (opposite-gender) sexual conduct can be punished. Also, both consensual and non-consensual sexual conduct can be penalized. Consequently, it is important to understand your rights and hire a competent, experienced, and aggressive Michigan sex crime attorney. Kronzek and Cronkright has several sex crime attorneys with the knowledge, expertise, and skill to handle your case.
Over the years, sex crimes and related statutes in the United States have transformed in accordance with society’s acceptance of both heterosexual and homosexual sexual relationships. In the late 1980's, the United States Supreme Court rejected the argument that there is a fundamental right to engage in homosexual activity, i.e. "gay sex," by upholding the constitutionality of a sodomy law in Bowers v. Hardwick. Several years later, however, in 2003, the Supreme Court invalidated a Texas anti-homosexual sodomy law in Lawrence v. Texas. In nullifying this law, the Supreme Court reasoned that the liberty rights implicit in the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the United States Constitution ultimately protect private sexual conduct. Michigan has gone through a similar transformation of its statutes relating to same-sex crimes.
Criminal Sexual Conduct
Michigan’s Criminal Sexual Conduct statute is a catchall for a wide range of crimes that are sexual in nature. In Michigan, most sex crimes are charged as CSCs. Under Michigan law, there are four degrees of CSC. Allegations of first and third degree CSC typically involve some kind of penetration, while allegations of second and fourth degree CSC typically involve touching without penetration.
Under Michigan’s CSC statute, both men and women can be prosecuted for engaging in unlawful sexual conduct. Men can be charged with CSC for man-on-man conduct, man-on-woman conduct, and man-on-child conduct. Similarly, women can be charged with CSC for woman-on-woman conduct, woman-on-man conduct, and woman-on-child conduct. Maximum penalties for CSC range from life imprisonment to 2 years of imprisonment, depending on the degree of CSC conviction.
In the past, sodomy was defined under Michigan law as anal penetration or anal intercourse. Historically, sodomy laws targeted gay men because homosexual activity was seen as unnatural and perverse. Today, however, Michigan courts and statutes generally refer to sodomy as a ‘crime against nature.’
Under Michigan’s sodomy statute, a person can be prosecuted for engaging in conduct that society deems offensive and improper. Ultimately, sodomy encompasses unlawful sexual conduct between both men and women and between mankind and animals. Bestiality, a sexual connection between a man or woman and an animal, is one such type of conduct typically found to be improper, unnatural, and offensive. Furthermore, Michigan courts have established that anal sex is also punishable under Michigan’s sodomy statute. Oral sex, on the other hand, does not fall within Michigan’s sodomy statute. Oral sex is instead covered by Michigan’s gross indecency statute.
The penalties for sodomy can be very severe. A person convicted of sodomy under Michigan law can face up to 15 years in prison. If that person is classified as a sexually delinquent person, however, the sentencing can be even harsher.
Gross indecency is loosely defined as any act or acts of gross indecency. Michigan’s gross indecency statute was enacted to protect against offenses that the common sense of society regarded as indecent and improper. Under Michigan law, acts are ultimately considered indecent and improper when examined in light of the community’s sense of morality and propriety. Consequently, the circumstances surrounding the act are relevant to the determination of whether the act is ‘grossly indecent.’ In Michigan, gross indecency most often consists of oral sex, both fellatio (oral sex on a male) and cunnilingus (oral sex on a female). This is especially true when such acts are committed in a public place or such acts occur between an adult and a minor.
The penalties for gross indecency can be harsh, as well. A person convicted of gross indecency can face up to 5 years in prison. In addition to jail time, a person can also be fined up to $2,500. Further still, if classified as a sexually delinquent person when arrested or charged with gross indecency, the penalties can be even stricter.
Michigan Sex Crime Attorneys
Michigan’s sex crime statutes are wordy and can be very difficult to navigate. If you have been arrested or charged with a sex crime in Michigan, it is incredibly important to know your rights and hire an experienced and knowledgeable sex crime attorney. At Kronzek and Cronkright, our attorneys are both highly-trained and extremely experienced in handling sex crimes and related charges. We have successfully defended many people accused of sex crimes all over the state of Michigan. Let us help you!
Call Kronzek & Cronkright at 866-766-5245 to speak with an experienced and skilled attorney quickly.