Why Are Some Crimes Called “Sex Crimes” When There’s No Sex Involved?

Not every sex crime actually includes sex.


This one messes with a lot of people’s heads. And it’s a pretty good question. After all, why are certain crimes called sex crimes when there’s obviously no sex involved in them? Believe it or not, there’s a reason (even if you don’t agree with it) and we’re going to break it down for you here, so you can stop wondering about it and get back to surfing the web for cat vs. cucumber videos and AGT highlights. (Whatever, you know you were!)


Under Michigan law, “sex” doesn’t always mean sex.


Right, so that’s still confusing, we know. Hang in there, it’ll all make sense… So you probably understand the most common categories of sex crimes – the ones where there is actual sex. These tend to include sex acts that one person didn’t consent to, sex that includes violence, and sex with someone who isn’t able to consent (like children.) But what about public urination and “flashing”? Why are they considered sex crimes?


Some sex crimes don’t involve any kind of sex


This category is when inappropriate acts are committed in a public space, or when people do something that is sexual (but doesn’t include a sex act) that’s offensive to the public. And finally, there are crimes where someone tries to get someone else to do something sexual that isn’t legal (which would count as a sex crime, even if the act itself didn’t happen.) Examples of these could include:


  • Indecent Exposure (this would include “flashing” which means exposing your privates in public, or publically fondling yourself to get a reaction out of others)
  • Soliciting someone for sex (this includes offering someone money or gifts in exchange for sexual acts)
  • Accosting a minor (this refers to trying to convince an underage minor to have sex, or perform sexual acts, for or with you)


You can still end up on the public Michigan sex offender registry!


Here’s the thing, though. You may not think of these as being sex crimes, but if you get accused of any of these crimes here in Michigan, you could still end up on Michigan’s sex offender registry. And if you know anything about the sex offender registry, you know it’s no joke! You could lose your job (or be denied a job you really want), be ostracized by your friends and neighbors, and not ever be allowed to set foot on your kid’s school property.


Being accused of a sex crime is serious stuff!


Anyone who’s been charged with a sex crime is going to need tough, aggressive criminal defense attorneys fighting to defend them. Why? Because this is highly specialized work that should be handled by criminal defense attorneys that have decades of experience and training in handling sex crimes. So if you’ve have been charged with a sex assault crime in Michigan, contact our top sex crime defense attorneys immediately at 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail). Timing is critical, and delays will work against you. We’ve helped thousands of clients over the decades. We can help you too.


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