The purpose of this statute is to prevent public sexual conduct that might give offense to persons present in a place that is frequented by members of the public.
If a child under sixteen is involved go to: Unnatural or Lascivious Acts with Child Under 16
The term “unnatural and lascivious act” includes:
- anal intercourse
- fellatio, or oral sex involving contact between the mouth of one person and the penis of another
- cunnilingus, or oral sex involving contact between the mouth of one person and the female sex organs – the vagina, vulva or labia of another person
- masturbation of another person
- or any other intrusion of a part of one person’s body or some other object into the genital or anal opening of another person’s body
Under Massachusetts criminal law, the crime of Unnatural or Lascivious Acts is a felony sex offense and may be found at Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 272, Section 35.
Legal Elements of Unnatural or Lascivious Acts
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In order to be found guilty of Unnatural or Lascivious Acts under Massachusetts criminal law, there must be strong evidence of the following legal elements:
- that the defendant did commit an unnatural and lascivious act with another person
- that the defendant committed that act intentionally
- the sexual act was done in a public place; that is a place where the defendant either intended public exposure, or recklessly disregarded a substantial risk of public exposure at that time and under those circumstances, to others who might be offended by such conduct
Furthermore, the statute is generally applied to consenting adults, however, it may be applied to non-consensual conduct, in which case the public nature of the act is not an element of the offense, but the absence of consent is.
Potential Punishment in Massachusetts if Convicted of Unnatural or Lascivious Acts
The potential consequences for Unnatural or Lascivious Acts, if convicted, in the Commonwealth may be found at Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 272, Section 35.
A defendant convicted of Unnatural or Lascivious Acts shall be sentenced to a term in state prison that does not exceed five years, or in a jail or house of corrections for not more than 2 ½ years.
Although under Massachusetts criminal law this is considered a sex offense, a defendant is not required to register as a sex offender.