Lewdness under Section 76-9-702

Section 76–9–702's catchall phrase, "any other act of lewdness" has been interpreted to include things like the "simulation" of masturbation in a public place with the intent to offend. Other examples of a lewd act can including mooning or flashing another person.

A mother breastfeeding a child is never considered a lewd act because the statute specifically excludes breastfeeding even if the skin of the breast or nipple is exposed in the process.

A first or second offense of lewdness is typically charged as a class B misdemeanor. Lewdness involving a child is typically charged as a class C misdemeanor. The penalties are enhanced to a felony if the person has a certain number of prior convictions or is already designated as a sex offender.

Attorney for Lewdness Crimes in Salt Lake City, UT

If you were charged with lewdness under Section 76-9-702(1) or lewdness involving a child under Section 76-9-702.5, then contact a criminal defense attorney in Salt Lake City, UT.

The attorneys at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat, LLP in Salt Lake City, represent clients throughout the State of Utah for sexually motivated crimes including lewdness or voyeurism.

Call (801) 532-5297 today.


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Elements of Lewdness under Section 76-9-702(1)

Under Section 76-9-702(1), the crime of lewdness is defined to include the following elements that must be proven beyond all reasonable doubt:

  • the defendant committed one of the following acts:
    • an act of sexual intercourse or sodomy;
    • exposes his or her genitals; or
    • exposing the female breast below the top of the areola, the buttocks, the anus, or the pubic area;
    • masturbates; or
    • any other act of lewdness;
  • the act of lewdness was committedin:
    • a public place; or
    • under circumstances which the person should know will likely cause affront or alarm to, on, or in the presence of another who is 14 years of age or older.

Under Section 76-9-702(2)(a), a person convicted of a first or second offense of lewdness is guilty of a class B misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

The crime of lewdness is enhanced to a third-degree felony, however, if at the time of the violation:

  • the person is a sex offender as defined in Section 77-27-21.7;
  • the person has been previously convicted two or more times of violating Subsection (1); or
  • the person has previously been convicted of a violation of Subsection (1) and has also previously been convicted of a violation of Section 76-9-702.5, lewdness involving a child.

The third-degree felony of lewdness is punishable by up to five (5) years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

Crimes related to lewdness including rape, object rape, forcible sodomy, forcible sexual abuse, aggravated sexual assault, or an attempt to commit any of these offenses.


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Lewdness involving a Child under Section 702.5

The offense of lewdness involving a child, under Section 76-9-702.5, requires proof that the defendant intentionally or knowingly did any of the following to, or in the presence of, a child who is under 14 years of age:

  1. performs an act of sexual intercourse or sodomy;
  2. exposes his or her genitals, the female breast below the top of the areola, the buttocks, the anus, or the pubic area:
    1. in a public place; or
    2. in a private place:
      1. under circumstances the person should know will likely cause affront or alarm; or
      2. with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of the actor or the child;
  3. masturbates;
  4. under circumstances not amounting to sexual exploitation of a child under Section 76-5b-201, causes a child under the age of 14 years to expose his or her genitals, anus, or breast, if female, to the actor, with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of the actor or the child; or
  5. performs any other act of lewdness.

The crime of lewdness involving a child under Section 76-9-702.5 is charged as a class A misdemeanor except that the offense is charged as a third-degree felony if at the time of the violation:

  • the person is a sex offender as defined in Section 77-27-21.7; or
  • the person has previously been convicted of a violation of this section.

Related offenses to lewdness involving a child include:

  • rape of a child;
  • object rape of a child;
  • sodomy upon a child;
  • sexual abuse of a child;
  • aggravated sexual abuse of a child, or
  • an attempt to commit any of those offenses.

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