What You Need to Understand About Aggravated Sodomy
What Is Aggravated Sodomy?
Sodomy generally refers to engaging in non-consensual or consensual anal or oral sex with another person. According to Georgia law, sodomy is committing any sexual act involving a person’s sex organs and the mouth or anus of another.
The definition does not specify any specific elements of the crime, such as mental capacity or age of consent. There is a constitutional concern here, particularly if the sexual activity occurred between consenting adults who were not under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the activity occurred.
This offense is typically considered a misdemeanor. It is punishable by fines and potential imprisonment, depending on jurisdictional laws.
The offense of aggravated sodomy involves factors that escalate its gravity beyond engaging in a sexual act involving the mouth or anus of another. These elements may include instances of forceful coercion or violence during sodomy.
It is also possible for sodomy to be aggravated when minors or other vulnerable individuals are involved. An alleged victim must be incapable of consenting to such activities legally due to age or another form of incapacity, such as mental illness or an intellectual disability.
Aggravated sodomy is a serious offense that violates personal autonomy and sexual integrity. Therefore, this is categorized as a felony and carries significant penalties. If you’re facing criminal charges for aggravated sodomy, you’ll need the help of a criminal defense attorney in Athens, GA, from Swingle Levin Law, LLC.
Elements of Aggravated Sodomy in Georgia
The State of Georgia does not prohibit oral or anal sex between consenting persons in private settings. However, it does prohibit engaging in any sexual activity in public. Additionally, it prohibits engaging in any sexual activity with anyone under the age of consent.
When certain aggravating factors are present, it elevates the severity of this offense. Therefore, sodomy is prosecuted as a felony if:
A person commits sodomy with a person under the age of ten.
Use of force or coercion during the act
Do “Romeo and Juliet” Laws Apply to Aggravated Sodomy Cases?
The “Romeo and Juliet” laws aim to reduce or eliminate the punishment of the crime in cases of minor age differences between the couple, and sexual contact is only considered rape due to the lack of legally recognized consent. Under these laws, a person may have consensual sex with a minor, provided that the minor is not over a certain age, usually four or five.
In aggravated sodomy cases where the victim is 13 or older but less than 16 and the charged person is 18 or younger but not more than four years older than the victim, the crime is treated as a misdemeanor.
Nonetheless, if the victim is under the age of 13, the Romeo and Juliet laws will not apply, and the felony charges will be applicable.
Medical Effects of Aggravated Sodomy on the Victims
An act of aggravated sodomy can lead to serious health complications. This sexual offense is often performed without consent, which can cause physical trauma to the victim.
Forced entry can easily tear the rectum’s delicate tissues, resulting in lacerations. Consequently, it can cause profuse bleeding on the sodomized person.
A sodomy assault may cause significant pain during and after the assault, causing obstructions to normal bodily functions, such as urination and bowel movements.
The victims of such traumatic events often experience intense psychological distress, resulting in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety disorders, and even suicidal thoughts. Affected victims of aggravated sodomy, like victims of other sexual offenses, often need additional psychological support to aid in their recovery.
Sentence for Aggravated Sodomy
The sentencing and punishment provisions of the Georgia Code provide that a person convicted of aggravated sodomy may face the following penalties:
25 years to life in prison
Probation for life
Registration of the offender in the Sexual Offender Registry in Georgia
A conviction can affect future employment after completing your prison sentence.
The other repercussions of a felony conviction include loss of reputation, difficulty obtaining employment, loans, and other financial services, and restrictions on voting rights.
Georgia Defenses for an Aggravated Sodomy Charge
Defenses applicable for aggravated sodomy include the following:
- It was not against a victim’s will: An essential element of the offense is that the sexual act was committed without the victim’s consent. If there is proof that the person allegedly sodomized gave their full consent, the charges may be dismissed.
- No force was used: A criminal defense attorney in Athens, GA, can help you prove that no force was used.
- Mistake of Age: Aggravated sodomy can occur with someone less than ten years of age. If the Court is incorrect about the victim’s age, then you should seek to correct the error and potentially ask for a lesser charge.
Fighting Aggravated Sodomy Charges With Swingle Levin
When facing aggravated sodomy charges, you need an experienced and compassionate legal team. We have dedicated attorneys who handle aggravated sodomy cases.
At Swingle Levin, LLC, our attorneys recognize the gravity of your situation. So, we will work to ensure your rights are respected throughout the process. We will carefully guide you through every step of your legal journey and ensure that you make informed decisions going forward.
As your lawyers, we can prepare a solid defense strategy tailored to your specific situation. We can challenge any inconsistencies or weaknesses presented by the prosecution. The attorney will also communicate clearly about all aspects of your case.
Due to the emotional impact facing these charges can have, we take great care to provide people with the support they need during these trying times. Call us now to schedule a consultation with a compassionate attorney.