Traditionally, sodomy laws were established to target gay men because homosexuality was largely viewed as perverse and unnatural.
As societal perceptions of what is and isn’t acceptable have continued to change, Michigan law has adopted new wordings to refer to the sodomy statute as crimes against nature.
CRIMES AGAINST NATURE: SODOMY
Crimes against nature go beyond what was traditionally viewed as unnatural sexual relations between people, such as anal sex or oral sex, to include sexual relations between people and animals (bestiality).
While sodomy law still remains in the books in some states, such as Michigan and North Carolina, it remains unenforceable in relation to acts of sodomy between consenting adults; following the supreme courts ruling that all sodomy laws are unconstitutional.
According to MCL 750.158, crime against nature or sodomy is a criminal offense for any person to commit the detestable and abominable crime against nature with mankind or animal.
This law has two main parts:
● Crime against nature with a person
While this first part of the law remains in the books, it’s technically unenforceable since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling voiding all anti-sodomy laws in 2003. However, the law is only unenforceable if the persons involved are consenting adults.
● Crime against nature with an animal
This second part of the law encompasses bestiality. Bestiality includes any form of sexual connection between mankind and animals.
SEXUALLY DELINQUENT PERSON
According to MCL 750.10a, a sexually delinquent person can be defined under the law as a person whose sexual conduct is characterized by:
- Compulsive or repetitive acts that indicate a blatant disregard of the rights of others or the consequences of their actions.
- Having attempted forcefully to have sexual relations with another person. The sexual attempt can either be homosexual or heterosexual nature or oral sex.
- Has a history of sexual aggression against minors below 16.
While being a sexually delinquent in itself is not a crime in Michigan, being a sexually delinquent while at the time of the commission of a crime against nature, or any other sex crime in Michigan, can enhance your sentencing.
With that said, the prosecution must prove with evidence, in a hearing separate from the offense in question, that the defendant is a sexually delinquent person for the judge to enhance the sentence.
The prosecution is supposed to make known their intention to seek sexually delinquent enhancements early in the trial process, and give an advance notice, which should be served to the defendant to allow them to prepare their defense.
Like other sex crimes, crime against nature charges are life-altering and can have a huge impact on a person’s reputation, especially if involving minors or animals.
That is why it’s vital to work with an experienced lawyer, to avoid a conviction, if you are facing charges against crimes against nature law in Michigan.
Under MCL 750.158, a violation of a crime against nature will result in a felony charge, which attracts a possible jail time of up to 15 years, upon conviction.
However, where the person was a sexually delinquent at the time of committing the offense, they risk punishment by an indeterminate period in state prison, with the minimum being one day, and the maximum being up to life in prison.
SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION
Upon a conviction with a crime against nature or sodomy involving minors in Michigan, the offender will be required by law to register as a tier II offender under on Michigan’s sex offender’s registry, unless if:
- The victim consented to the act; the victim was more than 13 years of age, but below 16 at the time of the said act of sodomy, and the offender’s age does not exceed the victim’s age by more than four years, according to MCL 28.722(u)(v)(A)
- The victim consented to the act, the victim was aged 16 or 17 at the time of the commission of the said act of sodomy, and the offender did not have custodial authority over the victim, according to MCL 28.722(u)(v)(B).
It’s important to note that if a violation of MCL 750.158 involves a crime against nature with an animal (bestiality), the offender may not be required to register as a sex offender.
A person facing crimes against nature or sodomy charges should never take the charges lightly, considering the possible lengthy incarceration and sexual offender registration. Also, if the court determines that a person is sexually delinquent, the offender risks life in prison.
Therefore, it’s vital to ensure that you do not go alone when facing a crime against nature charge. Instead, enlist the services of a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney, and preferably one solely focused on sex crimes.
If you are facing crimes against nature or sodomy charges in Michigan, your attorney may use different strategies for your defense depending on the underlying circumstances.
Some possible defense strategies for crime against nature charges include:
It’s technically illegal, even for consenting adults, to engage in sex, according to MCL 750.158 crimes against nature or sodomy. However, the law remains unenforceable following the 2003 Supreme Court ruling, deeming all sodomy laws unconstitutional in America, where both parties engage in consensual sex.
Therefore, a defendant cannot be convicted of a violation of crime against nature and sodomy laws if they reasonably believed that the other party consented to the said act, with an exemption being if the sodomy charges involve minors.
NOT A MINOR
The defendant cannot be held in violation of crime against nature or sodomy laws if they engage in a consensual sexual act with a person they reasonably believed was not a minor. Examples of this are if the other person lied about their age or appeared to be physically mature.
Engaging in a consensual act with a person that the defendant reasonably believed was an adult can be treated as consensual sex between consenting adults and cannot be prosecuted in line with the 2003 Supreme Court ruling.
There are many instances where people have been falsely accused of criminal sexual conduct by others to get back at them for revenge or other reasons.
If you have been falsely accused, your attorney can use false accusations as a defense strategy.
LET THE BEST CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT DEFENSE ATTORNEY HELP YOU
If you are facing crimes against nature, or any other type of criminal sexual conduct, charges in Michigan, your go-to lawyer is Nicole Blank Becker of Blank Law, PC.
Nicole has over 20 years of experience in Michigan law. She is solely focused on sex crimes, making her your best chance at getting a favorable outcome for your crimes against nature, and any other form of criminal sexual conduct, charges.
In her 20 years of practice, Nicole has worked as a prosecutor, which means she can look at your case from a prosecutor’s point of view, giving her an edge over her peers.
Criminal sexual conduct charges are sensitive and have life-altering consequences. They call for working with a caring, understanding, and experienced sex crimes attorney.
Nicole is all of that… and more!
Don’t let a crime against nature charge ruin the rest of your life. Contact Blank Law, PC at (248) 505-5929 to book a free consultation.