Sex Offenses – 2018 Oklahoma Laws #17

This change expanded rights to human trafficking victims and expanded the definitions of forcible sodomy, rape, and lewd/indecent acts/proposals. 

 

Protection of Human Trafficking Victims

human trafficking oklahomaUnder this new law, a law enforcement office has more obligations when encountering a victim of human trafficking. It also obligates district court and OJA employees to act. Any law enforcement officer or employee of a district court, juvenile bureau, or Office of Juvenile Affairs who has reasonable suspicion that a minor may be a victim of human trafficking and is in need of immediate protection must assume protective custody over the minor and immediately notify the Department of Human Services. The minor will be transferred to the emergency custody of DHS of the Oklahoma Statutes. While in custody of the Department, the minor must be provided with any necessary emergency social services that include, but aren’t limited to, medical examination or treatment or a mental health assessment.

Law enforcement and the Department of Human Services will conduct a joint investigation into the claim.

The minor will remain in the custody of the Department of Human Services until the investigation has been completed, but for no longer than two (2) judicial days (used to be 72 hours), for the show-cause hearing. The Department may release the minor to the custody of a parent or legal guardian if it determines the minor will not be subject to further exploitation. If no such determination is made, the minor will be subject to the deprived child provisions of the Oklahoma Children’s Code and made eligible for appropriate child welfare services.

The minor will not be subject to juvenile delinquency proceedings for prostitution or other nonviolent misdemeanor offenses committed as a direct result of being a victim of human trafficking. It will be an affirmative defense to delinquency or criminal prosecution for any misdemeanor or felony offense that the offense was committed during the time of and as the direct result of the minor being the victim of human trafficking.

 

Forcible Sodomy Definition Expanded

The definition of forcible sodomy expanded to include:

  • Sodomy committed upon a person who is at least 16 years old but less than 18 years old by a person responsible for the child’s health, safety or welfare. “Person responsible for a child’s health, safety or welfare” includes but is not limited to:
    • a parent,
    • a legal guardian,
    • custodian,
    • a foster parent,
    • a person 18 years old or older with whom the child’s parent cohabitates,
    • any other adult residing in the home of the child,
    • an agent or employee of a public or private residential home, institution, facility or day treatment program, or
    • an owner, operator or employee of a child care facility.

 

Definition of Rape Expanded

The definition of rape expanded to include:

  • Where the victim is at least 16 years old but less than 18 years old and the perpetrator of the crime is a person responsible for the child’s health, safety or welfare. “Person responsible for a child’s health, safety or welfare” includes but is not limited to:
    • a parent,
    • a legal guardian,
    • custodian,
    • a foster parent,
    • a person 18 years old or older with whom the child’s parent cohabitates,
    • any other adult residing in the home of the child,
    • an agent or employee of a public or private residential home, institution, facility or day treatment program, or
    • an owner, operator or employee of a child care facility.

Here’s how this change can impact things:

  • Sex between step-siblings is now illegal if one step-sibling is 18 years old or older and living with the other and the other is 16 or 17 years old. The old step-sibling would be considered “any other adult residing in the home of the child.”
  • Consider a situation where an 18-year old male (could be female, but is male for the sake of argument) has a girlfriend who is 16 or 17 years old. If that male moves in with his girlfriend and has sex with her (even if they were having sex prior to his moving in), then that sex would now be considered rape. He would also be considered “any other adult residing in the home of the child.” If the male moves out of the house, then he can once again have sex legally with his 16 or 17 year old girlfriend.
  • Sex between a stepchild and his or her stepparent is not per-se illegal under the incest law. This change criminalizes some sex between a stepparent and stepchild. If the stepchild is 16 or 17 and living with the parent and stepparent, then the stepparent would be considered “a person 18 years old or older with whom the child’s parent cohabitates.” The stepparent would also be considered “any other adult residing in the home of the child.”

 

More Lewd or Indecent Proposals or Acts to a Child Under 16

It’s now illegal to knowingly and intentionally force or require a child to defecate or urinate upon the body or private parts of another, in a lewd and lascivious manner and for the purpose of sexual gratification.

 

Definition of Lewd and Indecent Proposals/Acts Expanded

It’s now a felony for any parent or person responsible for the child’s health, safety or welfare to commit a lewd or indecent proposal or act or commit sexual battery when the victim is at least 16 years old but less than 18 years old. The maximum punishment in the Department of Corrections is ten years.”Person responsible for a child’s health, safety or welfare” includes but is not limited to:

  • a parent,
  • a legal guardian,
  • custodian,
  • a foster parent,
  • a person 18 years old or older with whom the child’s parent cohabitates,
  • any other adult residing in the home of the child,
  • an agent or employee of a public or private residential home, institution, facility or day treatment program, or
  • an owner, operator or employee of a child care facility.

SB 1005 modified 21 O.S. §§ 748.2, 888, 111, & 1123. These changes went into effect on November 1, 2018.

Sources: SB 1005 and 21 O.S. §§ 748.2, 888, 111, & 1123

Arrested for a sex crime in Oklahoma? Call Oklahoma sex crime attorney Frank Urbanic in OKC at 405-633-3420.

Don’t panic!
Call Urbanic.®
405-633-3420