Statutory sodomy is the act of having illegal anal sex with a person of either sex. Each state has differing law regulating sodomy and in the state of Missouri, this law centers on protecting children. In the state of Missouri, the age of consent is 17. Thus, anyone who engages in sexual activity with a child under 17 is in violation of the law. Statutory sodomy is a bit more specific.
What Is Statutory Sodomy in the State of Missouri?
In the State of Missouri, “A person commits the crime of statutory sodomy in the second degree if being twenty-one years of age or older, he has deviate sexual intercourse with another person who is less than seventeen years of age.” Simple. Anyone over the age of 21 who has deviate sex with someone under 17 has committed statutory sodomy.
But just what IS “deviate?” What if the two parties to the crime were married? To each other? What if BOTH were under the age of 17? A student? A Teacher? What happens if…
The simple answer to that question is to call your attorney Jason A. Korner.
How Have the Laws on Statutory Sodomy Changed in Missouri?
August 28, 2015 MRS 566.064 was simplified. MRS 566.062.1 was clarified.
The major change to the Missouri Revised Statutes above was that a subsection (2) was added relating to particular offenders. The change adds Section 566.125 which provides sentencing for repeat or predatory sexual offenders. This change goes into effect January 1, 2017.
A defendant will be considered a “persistent sexual offender” if he has been previously convicted of a sex crime in Missouri.
A defendant will be considered a “predatory sexual offender” if he has previously been found guilty of various sexual offenses. Of course, that is vague. What is much clearer about the law is the element of numbers. This category is reserved for those who have been convicted more than once or who have at minimum 2 victims.
What are Criminal Acts Related to Statutory Sodomy in Missouri?
Other criminal acts related to statutory sodomy in Missouri include:
- Molestation – sexual contact with a minor under the age of 17. The sexual contact does not include intercourse or sodomy. Penalties increase as the age of the victim decreases.
- Teacher/Student Relations – are illegal at any age. In addition, any employee of a school, officials, volunteers, or contractors are all included in this statute.
- Child Enticement – asking or inviting a child under the age of 15 to engage in any form of sexual activity is a crime in the state of Missouri. In addition, this statute makes it a crime to misrepresent your age to a minor on the Internet. These are called Child Enticement Laws.
What are the Penalties for a Statutory Sodomy Conviction in Missouri?
Penalties for a statutory sodomy conviction in Missouri are based largely on the age of the victim.
- Victim over 12 – Second degree statutory sodomy is a Class C Felony. The penalties include a maximum term of imprisonment of 7 years and a maximum fine of $5000.
- Victim under 12 – First degree statutory sodomy in this case carries a minimum five years’ incarceration to life in prison.
- Sex Offender Registration – In addition to the penalties imposed by the courts prior to your conviction, upon release from any term of incarceration you must register as a sex offender. This means that you will make your whereabouts and arrest public information for the duration of your life.
What are the Defenses to a Charge of Statutory Sodomy in Missouri?
- Mistake of Age – Making a mistake is never an excuse for breaking the law. Or is it? In the case of Missouri Revised Statute § 566.020 permits claiming mistaken age. This is only in the event of second degree statutory sodomy AND the child was at least 14. If the defendant reasonably concluded that the child was over 17, the defense may stand. (i.e. any reasonable person would conclude that the child was much younger than her appearance.)
- Affirmative Defense of Marriage – If the defendant was legally married to the minor, Missouri Revised Statute § 566.026 allows for an affirmative defense based on this fact.
- The Age of the Defendant – Shortly after child protection sex laws went into effect nationwide, the states met with a dilemma: Teenagers in loving relationships with partners their own age were being prosecuted. So in most states, Missouri included, so-called ‘Romeo and Juliet’ exception exist. If the defendant and the presumed victim were in fact involved in a romantic relationship and both were under 21 but over 14, exemptions may be made.
- Case Specific – There are always mitigating factors, elements missing from the prosecutor’s case, or rules impacting the collection of evidence. At the Law Offices of Jason A. Korner, we take each case at face value and decide how best to counter the states attack.
I have been Charged with Statutory Sodomy, What Should I do?
The first thing you should do if you have been charged with Statutory Sodomy is call Jason A. Korner. The same applies if you have been charged with any sex crime. You need to move quickly. The sooner you are represented by an attorney who understands Missouri law, the better. The Law Offices of Jason A. Korner are here for you. Call 314-409-2659 now, or click here to fill out an information form to schedule your free consultation.