Utah is among the few U.S. states that have separate ages of consent for women and men. For women, the age of consent in Utah is 16 years old. While for men, it is 18 years old. However, for women between the ages of 16 and 18, there are some restrictions. No person under the age of 18, male or female, can legally consent to sex with a person who is more than 10 years older than the minor.
Violating age of consent laws is known as "statutory rape."
Exceptions for Minors
In Utah, a minor aged 14 or 15 can legally consent to have sex with a person who is less than 4 years older. For example, a 14 year old can consent to sexual intercourse with a person as old as 17 years of age.
Incapable of Consent
No person under the age of 14 can legally consent to sex; they are incapable of consenting. Having sex with someone aged 14 or younger is a fairly serious crime in Utah, and carries strict liability.
Do Age of Consent Laws Apply to Homosexual Acts?
Utah currently has no valid statute that governs the age of consent for homosexual acts. So, it is not clear exactly what the age of consent for sodomy is. However, it is safe to assume that the age of consent laws do apply to homosexual acts.
Punishment for Statutory Rape in Utah
Violations of these laws generally carry prison sentences of approximately 5 years.
Consulting an Attorney
Should you feel that you might have a legal issue because of a relationship with a minor, you should consult with a knowledgeable Utah criminal defense lawyer. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can clear your name, help you file the appropriate paperwork in court, and speak on your behalf.