Utah

Population

2,995,919

Population 0‑18

30.5%

Internet Users

81.2%

Home Internet Subscribers

85.2%
* Statistics provided by CIA.gov, Internet World Stats and GSMA Intellligence

2009 – The Secondary Health Education Core Curriculum requires secondary school students to be able to analyze the dangers of inappropriate use of current technology, such as Internet and cell phones. Discussing the short and long term dangers of sharing personal information, as well as the legal and personal consequences of the inappropriate use of technology will also be discussed in class.

2009 – The Utah Education Network (UEN) Provides lesson plans for health education, including the appropriate use of technology, online risks of sharing personal information, cyberbullying and cell phone safety.

2012 – Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act says to be eligible for E-Rate funding, from July 1st, 2012, in addition to compliance with CIPA, schools will also need to certify that they will educate students with regard to safe online behavior. Passed into law in January 2008, the ‘t’, Section 215 (titled ‘Promoting Online Safety in Schools’) inserts Section 254(h)(5)(B) (iii) of the Communications Act of 1934, requiring each school to certify that ”as part of its Internet safety policy, [it] is educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and response”. The certification has to be made no later than 120 days after the beginning of the first program funding year, or as part of the application process for any subsequent year (Section 254(h)(5)(E)).

2015 – Utah PTA created a presentation and provide other resources, that are used in their Internet Safety class, that parents can use to teach their children how to use the Internet safely. They also provide parents with a variety of software that they can download to help protect their computers from Internet viruses.

2016 – Utah’s Instructional Media site provides resources for teachers to use in their classroom. For example, the sit provides teachers with videos based on subject and the site even has a link for teaching strategies.

This section contains details of the state’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.

Utah is one of only two states (the other being Michigan) that has created a Child Protection Registry, allowing householders to register their address, e-mail addresses, telephone and cell phone details on a ‘do not contact’ list, on the grounds that the details are allocated to or accessed by a minor. Anyone marketing adult-oriented services, such as alcohol or pornography, is required to pay a fee to check the registry and, should they fail to do so or ignore the opt-out request, they face possible felony charges as well as civil and criminal fines. The full text of the Administrative Rule is available here:http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/bulletin/2005/20050715/28058.htm

The legality of such a registry was challenged in the courts by the Free Speech Coalition but was dismissed in October 2009, after the Attorney General and the company operating the database, Unspam, submitted a motion for judgment on the pleadings. The text of that motion can be found here: http://pub.bna.com/eclr/05cv949dismissmotion.pdf

Sentences for felonies and misdemeanors within Utah are as follows:

  • Capital felony: minimum term of 25 years’ imprisonment, life imprisonment without parole or death sentence.
  • First degree felony: minimum term of five years’ imprisonment, maximum life imprisonment.
  • Second degree felony: minimum term of one year’s imprisonment, maximum term of fifteen years’ imprisonment.
  • Third degree felony: no minimum term and a maximum term of five years’ imprisonment.
  • Class A misdemeanor: imprisonment not exceeding one year.
  • Class B misdemeanor: imprisonment not exceeding six months.
  • Class C misdemeanor: imprisonment not exceeding 90 days.
  • Utah Code (UC) 9-7-215. Internet and Online Access Policy Required. This section states that for a public library to be eligible to receive state funding, they must have an Internet safety policy in place, protecting minors from harmful or obscene material and child pornography. The library may also block access to materials that are not specified in this section, and disable its filtering under certain circumstances.

  • UC 53a-3-422. Internet and Online Access Policy Required. Requires any local school board to adopt and enforce a policy to restrict access to Internet or online sites that contain obscene material.
  • UC 53a-11a-201. Bullying, Cyber-bullying, Harassment, Hazing, Sexual Battery, and Sexual Exposure Prohibited. States that no students or school employee is allowed to engage in cyber-bullying or hazing of another student or employee at any time or in any location.
  • UC 53a-11a-301. Bullying, Cyber-bullying, Harassment, Hazing, and Retaliation Policy. States that by September 1, 2012, all public schools are required to have a bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, and hazing policy in place. The policy must be developed in consultation with students, parents, educators and members of law enforcement and is required to define examples of such activity and to state that it is prohibited. Schools are also required to clearly state the sanctions which may be applied to those found guilty of bullying, cyberbullying or hazing.
  • UC 53a-11a-401. Training, Education, and Prevention. States that all school boards shall train its employees regarding cyberbullying, bullying, harassment, hazing, and retaliation.
  • UC 76-4-401. Enticing a Minor – Elements – Penalties. Defines the offense as using the Internet or text messaging (which includes the sending of images as well as text) to induce (among other definitions) a minor to engage in sexual activity which is against state law. In this section a minor is determined to be someone under the age of eighteen. Punishments for offenses under this section are complex, determined by the offense that the perpetrator intended to commit. If the intention was to commit a first degree felony, the offense is deemed to be a second class felony for a first conviction and so on down the categories of offense. Second or subsequent convictions under this section are deemed to be a first degree felony and a term of imprisonment of three years to life is imposed.
  • UC 76-5-106. Harassment. It is defined as a criminal offense to communicate a written or recorded threat to commit a violent felony with intent to frighten or harass that person. This is a class B misdemeanor.
  • UC 76-5-106.5. Stalking – Definitions – Injunction – Penalties. This section states that a person is guilty of this offense when they engage in a course of conduct aimed at one specific person causing that person to fear for their own safety or to suffer emotional distress. This includes using the Internet, text messaging or other electronic means. This is a class A misdemeanor upon a first conviction, rising to a third degree felony for a subsequent offense. Two or more convictions mean that the offender may be sentenced for a second degree felony.
  • UC 76-5-308. Human Trafficking–Human Smuggling. Defines the offense as to recruit, harbor, transport or obtain a person through the use of force, fraud or coercion for sexual exploitation or forced labor.
  • UC 76-5-309. Human Trafficking and Smuggling – Penalties. Classifies human trafficking as a second degree felony, unless more than one victim was trafficked for commercial, which reclassifies the offense to a third degree felony. The offender will be charged for each separate victim.
  • UC 76-5-310. Aggravated Human Trafficking and Aggravated Human Smuggling – Penalties. States that if, in the course of committing human trafficking or smuggling, the offense involves the rape of a child, sodomy on a child, or aggravated sexual abuse of a child (among other things), or if the trafficking victim is under the age of eighteen years. This is a first degree felony.
  • UC 76-5-401. Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor – Elements – Penalties – Evidence of Age Raised by Defendant.States that it is a crime to engage in sexual intercourse or a sexual act, which is otherwise consensual, with a minor aged between fourteen and sixteen. This is a third degree felony, unless the offender is less than four years older than the victim in which case it is a class B misdemeanor.
  • UC 76-5-401.1. Sexual Abuse of a Minor. Defines “minor” for the purposes of this section as a child of fourteen or fifteen years of age. Any person who is seven years or more older than the minor and touches the private parts or genitals of the minor or takes indecent liberties with the minor (unless it constitutes a more serious offense) is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
  • UC 76-5-401.2. Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a 16 or 17 Year Old. States that where the offender engages in sexual conduct and is more than ten years older than the victim who is aged between sixteen and seventeen they are guilty of an offense. This is punishable as a third degree felony.
  • UC 76-5-402. Rape. States that it is an offense to engage in sexual intercourse with a person without their consent. This section provides for a sentence of between five years’ imprisonment and life. This rises to a minimum term of fifteen years where serious injury results.
  • UC 76-5-402.1. Rape of a Child. Defined as when a person has sexual intercourse with a child under the age of fourteen years old. It is deemed to be a first degree felony which carries a minimum term of 25 years and may be for life, or life without parole if the trier of fact determines that serious bodily injury was caused or that the offender had a previous conviction for a grievous sexual offense.
  • UC 76-5-402.2. Object Rape. Defines the crime as to cause penetration with a foreign object of the genital or anal opening of another person who is fourteen years of age or older, without consent. This is a first degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for five years up to life. Where the victim suffered serious bodily injury, the minimum sentence is raised to fifteen years. A second offense under this section is punishable by life without parole.
  • UC 76-5-402.3. Object Rape of a Child – Penalty. Defines as a crime the situation where an offender causes penetration or sexual touching with a foreign object of a child under the age of fourteen. This is a first degree felony punishable by life without parole, if the trier of fact finds that the victim suffered serious bodily injury or the offender has previously been found guilty of this offense.
  • UC 76-5-403. Sodomy – Forcible Sodomy. This section states that anyone who engages in a sexual act with a person aged fourteen or older involving the genitals of one person and mouth or anus of another person is guilty of sodomy, a class B misdemeanor. Where the victim does not consent to the act, forcible sodomy has been committed: a felony of the first degree, punishable by a prison term of between five years up to life. Where the victim suffered serious bodily injury, the minimum sentence is raised to fifteen years. A second offense under this section is punishable by life without parole.
  • UC 76-5-403.1. Sodomy on a Child. States that a person commits sodomy upon a child if they engage in any sexual act upon a child who is under fourteen, involving the genitals or anus of the offender or the child and the mouth or anus of either person. This is defined as a first degree felony, which renders the offender liable to imprisonment for a minimum of 25 years up to life. A sentence of life without parole may be imposed if the trier of fact finds that the victim suffered serious bodily injury, or the offender has previously been found guilty of this offense.
  • UC 76-5-404. Forcible Sexual Abuse. This section states that anyone who touches the anus, buttocks or genitals of another person of or over the age of fourteen, or otherwise takes indecent liberties with another without consent, is guilty of forcible sexual abuse. This is deemed to be a second degree felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment from one year up to fifteen years. Where the victim suffered serious bodily injury, the offense is aggravated to a first degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for a minimum of fifteen years up to life.
  • UC 76-5-404.1. Sexual Abuse of a Child – Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child. States that it is an offense to touch the anus, buttocks, or genitalia of any child, the breast of a female child, or otherwise takes indecent liberties with a child not amounting to rape or sodomy, with the intent of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person. This is a second degree felony. Where the offense is committed by a stranger who made friends with the victim for the purpose of committing the offense, it becomes an aggravated offense and, therefore, a first degree felony with a minimum term of fifteen years’ imprisonment.
  • UC 76-5-405. Aggravated Sexual Assault – Penalty. States that a person is guilty of this offense if, in the course of rape, object rape, forcible sodomy or forcible sexual abuse, the offender uses or threatens to use a dangerous weapon; compels the victim to submit to the offense by threat of kidnapping, death or serious bodily injury; commits the offense jointly with one or more persons. This is a first degree felony, punishable by a minimum of fifteen years’ imprisonment up to life.
  • UC 76-5-406. Sexual Offenses Against the Victim Without Consent of the Victim – Circumstances. States, among other things, that an act of rape, sexual intercourse, rape of a child, object rape of a child, or sodomy upon a child (amongst others), is without consent of the victim if: the victim is under the age of fourteen; the victim is aged fourteen or above but under eighteen, and the offender is more than three years older than the victim and entices or coerces the victim to submit to the act.
  • UC 76-5b-201. Sexual Exploitation of a Minor – Offenses. States that a person is guilty under this section when they possess, produce, distribute or view child pornography. This is a felony offense in the second degree for each minor that is depicted in the images.
  • UC 76-9-201. Electronic Communication Harassment – Definitions – Penalties. This section states that anyone who makes repeated contact by means of electronic communications with another person with intent to annoy, alarm, intimidate, offend, abuse, threaten, harass or frighten the receiver, or to cause disruption, jamming or overload of a communication system through excessive message traffic is guilty of this offense. Electronic harassment is a class B misdemeanor for a first offense. A second or subsequent offense is a class A misdemeanor if all prior violations were committed against adults, and a third degree felony if any prior violation was committed against a minor. Electronic communication harassment committed against a minor is a class A misdemeanor for a first offense, and a third degree felony for any subsequent offense.
  • UC 76-9-702.5. Lewdness Involving a Child. Defines the offense of (among other definitions) indecent exposure towards a child under fourteen years of age. This section also covers the offense of inducing a child under the age of fourteen to expose themselves in order to satisfy the sexual desire of either party. The offense is deemed to be a class A misdemeanor unless the offender has previously been convicted of a crime under this section or is a convicted sex offender, in which case it is upgraded to a third degree felony.
  • UC 76-9-702.7. Voyeurism Offenses – Penalties. This section states that it is an offense to intentionally use concealed equipment to secretly film, view or photograph an individual without his/her knowledge or consent under circumstances in which the victim has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Voyeurism is a class A misdemeanor, unless the victim is under the age of fourteen, which elevates the offense to a third degree felony. The distribution or sale of any images, including in electronic format, obtained under the above by transmission, display or dissemination is a third degree felony; where the offense includes an image of a person under the age of fourteen, the offender will be charged for a second degree felony.
  • UC 76-10-1204. Distributing Pornographic Material – Penalties – Exemptions for Internet Service Providers and Hosting Companies. States that it is a crime to bring into the state, prepare, publish or distribute pornographic material. It is a third degree felony punishable with a minimum term of 30 days’ imprisonment when the offense is committed by an adult aged eighteen or over. In addition, there is a mandatory fine of $1,000 plus $10 for every article exhibited, up to the maximum level of fine allowed by law. Where the offender is sixteen or seventeen the offense is deemed to be a class A misdemeanor for a first offense. If the offense is committed by a minor under the age of sixteen it is deemed to be a class B misdemeanor. Where a child is solicited by an adult of or over the age of eighteen to take part in conduct deemed unlawful under this section, it is a third degree felony. The section also states that ISPs are exempt from charges under this section if the ISP’s involvement in the offense is merely as a service provider.
  • UC 76-10-1205. Inducing Acceptance of Pornographic Material – Exemptions for Internet Service Providers and Hosting Companies. This section deems a person guilty of inducing acceptance of pornographic material when they knowingly require or demand as a condition to a sale etc. the acceptance of pornographic material. This is a third degree felony.
  • UC 76-10-1206. Dealing in Material Harmful to a Minor – Penalties – Exemptions for Internet Service Providers and Hosting Companies. This section states that it is a crime to distribute to, display or perform material that is harmful to minors. This is defined as a third degree felony for adults over the age of eighteen committing a first offense and is accompanied by a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000 with a further $10 added for each additional article up to the maximum fine allowed by law. Where the offender is sixteen or seventeen the offense is deemed to be a class A misdemeanor for a first offense. If the offense is committed by a minor under the age of sixteen it is deemed to be a class B misdemeanor. A second or subsequent conviction under this section for an adult over the age of eighteen is deemed to be a second degree felony, accompanied by a mandatory minimum fine of $5,000 with a further $10 for each additional article up to the maximum fine allowed by law. It also carries a mandatory minimum prison term of one year. If a minor under the age of eighteen is convicted of a second or subsequent offense under this section it is deemed to be a third degree felony. Where a child is solicited by an adult over the age of eighteen to take part in conduct deemed unlawful under this section it is a third degree felony. The section also states that ISPs are exempt from charges under this section if the ISPs involvement in the offense is merely as a service provider.
  • UC 76-10-1231. Data Service Providers – Internet Content Harmful to Minors. This section requires Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to filter Internet content on request from subscribers. The section also obliges the ISP to make their customers aware of the facility by notifying them in a “conspicuous manner”. The ISP is allowed to charge subscribers for the filtering facility. The section also gives details of the sanctions available against service providers who fail to comply with the requirements and states that they may be fined $2,500 for each separate violation, up to a limit of $10,000 per day. The Division of Consumer Protection will test each provider’s filtering mechanisms at least once a year.