Unnatural and Lascivious Act

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272 Section 35 prohibits unnatural and lascivious acts. To be convicted of committing an unnatural and lascivious act, the government has to prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant, with another person, committed an unnatural and lascivious act. The following are examples of "unnatural and lascivious acts": masturbation of another, oral sex, anal sex, and any intrusion of a body part or object into another person's genital or anal opening.

  2. The act was intentional.

  3. The act took place in public. If the defendant desired and took reasonable steps to have privacy for the sex act, then he or she cannot be convicted. Therefore, the government has to prove that the defendant either intended that the act be public or that he or she had a reckless disregard for a substantial risk of exposure. Whether or not a place is public depends on the facts, including the time and the characteristics of the locale. Even a parking lot or a bathroom stall in a public toilet may not be considered a public place in certain circumstances.

The statute is meant to prevent public sexual acts that could offend other people. This law can also apply to non-consensual acts. In such prosecutions, the public quality of the act is not an element, but lack of consent is.


The potential punishments for an unnatural and lascivious act include fines between $100 and $1,000, imprisonment in state prison for up to 5 years, or up to 2 ½ years in a jail or house of correction.

Experienced Massachusetts Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with committing an unnatural and lascivious act, or if you have questions about any criminal matter, speak with Robert J. Wheeler, Jr. A highly-experienced lawyer, Attorney Wheeler is recognized for his superior case results and fighting approach to all cases. He has been practicing criminal defense for more than 30 years, and you would be hard pressed to find a lawyer with better credentials or comparable abilities. Perhaps even more importantly, Robert J. Wheeler, Jr. is committed to his clients and puts in tireless work for each and every one of them.

Law Office of Robert J. Wheeler, Jr. (617) 973 5858

You can reach the Law Office of Robert J. Wheeler, Jr. by calling (617) 973 5858 (24 hours a day and 7 days every week) or by sending Attorney Wheeler an e-mail.