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Sex Crimes

In Oklahoma, we have many state statutes dealing with sex crimes. They vary greatly in severity and repercussions. Consent to sexual intercourse is not always a defense. Being charged with a sex crime is devastating, in part, due to the requirement that if convicted, an offender must register as a sex offender. The different sex crimes carry different amounts of years that the offender must remain registered, ranging from fifteen years of registration, up to a lifetime registration. Below is a breakdown of some of our sex crimes in Oklahoma.

Rape in the First Degree versus Rape in the Second Degree

Rape in the First Degree covers what most of us think of when we hear the word “rape.” Rape in the First Degree includes not only rape by force or threat of force, but also intercourse between a person eighteen years or older and a person under the age of fourteen. For the more commonly thought of Rape in the First Degree, that by force, it is enough that an offender threatens the use of force (and not actually use force) so long as the offender has the apparent ability to carry out that force. For example, if a man threatened to shoot a woman if she did not submit to sex, and there is a handgun laying on the floor nearby, even though it may not be loaded, the fact that the victim in this scenario believes the offender to have the ability to carry out the threat would suffice.

There are several other areas covered by Rape in the First Degree that hinge on the victim’s diminished capacity to consent. The diminished state of capacity by a victim may include a mental illness, intoxication by drugs or alcohol, or unconsciousness. Intercourse (vaginal or anal) with any victim with these listed diminished capacities is classified as Rape in the First Degree even though no physical force is used.

Rape in the Second Degree is committed when a person eighteen years old or older has sexual intercourse with a person who is younger than sixteen years old. The gender of the involved parties is irrelevant. Under the statute, sexual intercourse is defined as penetration of the vagina or anus, to include penetration by an object. Consent by the victim in this case is irrelevant, as the law prescribes a person younger than sixteen cannot legally give their consent to engage in sex with a person eighteen years old or older.

Sexual Battery

Although sexual intercourse may not have occurred, or isn’t provable in court, the State may still be able to prosecute a sexual act under the Sexual Battery statute. The law of Sexual Battery covers a variety of sexual touchings, the elements of the crime simply demand that a person intentionally touches another person who is at least 16 years old in a “lewd and lascivious manner” without that person’s consent. The Sexual Battery statute is similar and related to the Lewd Acts With a Child law, the most prominent difference being that the Lewd Act statute requires the victim to be younger than sixteen years old.

Forcible Sodomy

Forced oral sex is excluded from the Rape statutes in Oklahoma. Instead, there is a separate statute titled “Forcible Sodomy” listed under Chapter 34 – “Bigamy, Incest and Sodomy” of the Oklahoma Statutes. The Forcible Sodomy statute is another lengthy law but belongs to essentially one of two groupings: either that the oral sex was forced upon a person, or it was engaged in by parties not old enough to consent. The age requirement for Forcible Sodomy is satisfied if a person eighteen years or older engages in oral sex with a person under the age of sixteen years old—the question of whether the younger person gave or received oral sex is inconsequential, as the elements of the crime are met either way.

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