Kansas Sexual Battery and Rape Laws

A person who commits a sex-related crime in Kansas can face serious criminal penalties, including lengthy terms of imprisonment and hefty fines.

By , Attorney

In Kansas, it's illegal to engage in sexual acts with another person who hasn't consented, can't consent, or is coerced. Sexual acts include sexual intercourse, oral and anal sex, and touching with the intent to arouse or satisfy a sexual desire. People who engage in an unlawful sexual act against another can be charged with rape, sexual battery, or criminal sodomy.

This article will discuss rape, sexual battery, and criminal sodomy, along with potential penalties a defendant faces after conviction.

Penalties for Rape Crimes in Kansas

In Kansas, a person commits the crime of rape by engaging in sexual intercourse (vaginal penetration, however slight) without the victim's consent when:

  • the victim is overpowered by force or fear
  • the victim is physically helpless or unconscious, or
  • the victim lacks the ability to consent because of a mental condition or disorder or intoxication (intoxication must have been known by, or apparent to, the defendant).

It is also considered rape if an offender gained the victim's consent through misrepresentation.

Statutory rape occurs when an offender engages in sexual intercourse with a child younger than 14. To learn more about statutory rape penalties, read Kansas Statutory Rape Laws.

Depending on the circumstances of the crime, prosecutors can charge rape as a severity level 1 (use of force, victim incapacity, or underage victim), severity level 2 (misrepresentation), or off-grid (victim under 14 and adult offender) person felony. The following terms of imprisonment and monetary penalties apply to these levels:

  • severity level 1: 147 to 653 months (approx. 12 to 54 years) and $300,000
  • severity level 2: 109 to 493 months (approx. 9 to 41 years) and $300,000
  • off-grid: life and $500,000.

Penalties for Criminal Sodomy in Kansas

Sodomy involves performing oral or anal sex or causing another to perform these acts. Kansas criminalizes sodomy when a victim does not or cannot consent or is under the age of consent (younger than 16).

Criminal Sodomy

Kansas makes sodomy a crime when the victim is a child age 14 or 15. This offense constitutes a severity level 3, person felony, punishable by 55 to 247 months (approx. 4.5 to 20.5 years) of prison and a $300,000 fine.

Aggravated Criminal Sodomy

Aggravated criminal sodomy happens when the victim does not consent due to one of the following circumstances:

  • the victim is overpowered by force or fear
  • the victim is physically helpless or unconscious, or
  • the victim lacks the ability to consent because of a mental condition or disorder or intoxication (intoxication must have been known by, or apparent to, the defendant).

It's also aggravated criminal sodomy when the victim is younger than 14.

Aggravated sodomy is a severity level 1, person felony, which carries 147 to 653 months (approx. 12 to 54 years) in prison and a $300,000 fine. However, if the victim is younger than 14 and the offender is 18 or older, it constitutes an off-grid person felony, which subjects a defendant to life in prison and a $500,000 fine.

(Note: While the statutory language still makes same-sex acts illegal, a Kansas court held part of this statute to be unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable.)

Penalties for Sexual Battery Crimes in Kansas

Sexual battery occurs when an offender touches someone who is 16 or older without their consent and for the purpose of sexual arousal or satisfaction.

Aggravated sexual battery, a more serious crime, involves sexual battery plus any of the following circumstances:

  • the victim is overpowered by force or fear
  • the victim is physically helpless or unconscious, or
  • the victim lacks the ability to consent because of a mental condition or disorder or intoxication (intoxication must have been known by, or apparent to, the defendant).

Sexual battery constitutes a class A person misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Aggravated sexual battery is a severity level 5, person felony, which carries 31 to 136 months' (approx. 2.5 to 10.5 years) imprisonment and a $300,000 fine.

Defenses Available in Sex-Related Crimes

Defendants charged with unlawful sexual acts have several potential defenses available to them. At the same time, the law prohibits or limits the use of certain defenses.

Actual innocence. Defendants charged with rape, sexual battery, or sodomy have the usual defenses available to all criminal defendants, such as "Someone else committed this crime," or "The alleged conduct did not occur."

Consent. Consent as a defense applies only when the victim gives it freely and has the physical, mental, and legal capacity to consent. Legal capacity refers to crimes based on a victim's young age. For underage crimes, defendants cannot claim consent as a defense.

Mistake of age. Kansas doesn't recognize a mistake-of-age defense for sex crimes involving underage victims, even if the defendant's belief was reasonable or the child lied about their age or looked older.

Marital exemption. While statutory language references a marital exception for sexual acts committed with a child younger than 14, Kansas law no longer allows marriages when one party is younger than 15.

Sex Offender Registration in Kansas

On top of the penalties listed above, the Kansas Offender Registration Act requires people convicted of certain sexual crimes to register as sex offenders. These crimes include rape, aggravated sexual battery, and criminal sodomy. The law requires convicted adults to register for 15 years, 25 years, or life depending on the crime. If a defendant receives a second or subsequent conviction for an offense that requires registration, registration becomes a lifetime requirement. Failure to register constitutes a felony, which can be punished more severely after each subsequent failure.

Getting Legal Help

If you have been charged with rape, sexual battery, or criminal sodomy, contact a Kansas criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A conviction for a sex crime can have serious and lasting consequences, including time in prison and sex offender registration. If you are trying to determine the legality of any kind of conduct, make sure to consult an experienced attorney. The law is complex and can change. An attorney can help you navigate the criminal justice system and obtain the best possible outcome in your case.

Help for Sexual Battery and Rape Survivors

If you are a victim of sexual battery or rape, contact Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) for online help and local resources.

(Kan. Stat. §§ 21-5204, -5501, -5503 to -5505, -6602, -6611, -6804; 22-4901 et seq.; 23-2505 (2021); State v. Franco, 49 Kan. App. 2d 924, 934-35 (2014).)

Talk to a Lawyer

Need a lawyer? Start here.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
Get Professional Help

Talk to a Sex Crime attorney.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you