If you live in Utah, you've probably already committed multiple acts that could be considered sexual solicitation under Utah's newly passed, two-page, broadly-worded HB121 which sailed through the legislature and governor's desk without opposition from either party. As background, consider the May 20th Tribune article "Escorts: Utah law makes acting sexy illegal". The article, while commendable, stops short of analyzing the full repercussions of the new law.
The broadness of HB121 originates from lines 46-8 which reads:
(2) An intent to engage in sexual activity for a fee may be inferred from a person's engaging in, offering or agreeing to engage in, or requesting or directing another to engage in any of the acts described in Subsection (1)(c) under the totality of the existing circumstances.That is to say if one as much as "engages in" any of the activities in Subsection (1)(c), they may have their behavior inferred to mean "an intent to engage in sexual activity for a fee" subject only to a vague, undefined, open-to-interpretation-by-a-judge phrase "under the totality of existing circumstances."
The activity in Subsection (1)(c) is defined as:
(i) exposure of a person's genitals, the buttocks, the anus, the pubic area, or the female breast below the top of the areola;Thus in theory, if you have touched or exposed your genitals, buttocks, anus, pubic area, or female areolas, (and thus "engaged in" sexual activity by definition of lines 46-8) your actions may be inferred to constitute an "intent to engage in sexual activity for a fee" and thus sexual solicitation subject to interpretation by a judge.
(iii) touching of a person's genitals, the buttocks, the anus, the pubic area, or the female breast; or (iv) any act of lewdness.
The absurd broadness of this law could lead the following actions to be considered sexual solicitation (even if done in private):
- Going to the bathroom (exposing and/or touching one's genitals)
- Bathing, taking a shower or undressing (lewdness, exposure)
- A physician who requests you to remove clothing (exposure, lewdness)
- A TSA agent looking at your nudy backscatter image or giving you an aggressive patdown
- Breastfeeding (exposure of the female areola)
- Consensual intercourse (exposure of genitalia)
- Applying sunscreen on your buttocks or other areas (touching prohibited here)
- Scratching of the groin or other areas due to jock itch, etc (again, no touching)
- Dozens of other possibilities