Gross Indecency basically involves a sexual act between 2 or more persons in a public place, or in a location where a member of the public could have been exposed to or viewed the sexual act. Locations such as a rest stop, a public bathroom, a public park, and in a private home but in front of a window are all places in which sexual acts between consenting adults have and will result in prosecution for Gross Indecency in many instances. A sexual act is more than just kissing for purposes of this offense; there must be some form of touching of a private part or sexual penetration between persons involving 1 or more private parts.
There are 3 offenses related to Gross Indecency in Michigan: Gross Indecency between Male and Female Persons (MCL 750.338b); Gross Indecency between Female Persons (MCL 750.338a); and Gross Indecency between Male Persons (MCL 750.338). Regardless of the sex or sexual orientation of the participants, the potential penalty is the same – Gross Indecency is a felony offense which carries a possible punishment of up to 4 years in prison or a fine of not more than $2500. If the participant is deemed to be a sexually delinquent person, the Defendant (if convicted) faces an indeterminate prison sentence with a mandatory minimum of 1 day and a maximum of life. A sexually delinquent person is defined as a person whose sexual behavior is characterized by repetitive or compulsive acts which indicate a disregard of the consequences of the recognized rights of others, or by the use of force upon another person in attempting sexual relations of either a heterosexual or homosexual nature, or by the commission of sexual aggressions against children under the age of 16 years.
Gross Indecency may subject a Defendant, if convicted, to the requirements of the Michigan Sex Offender Registration Act. Gross Indecency involving a victim less than 13 years old will result in a Tier III registration requirement pursuant to MCL 750.388, MCL 750.388a, and MCL 750.388b. Tier III cases are the most severe sex offenses, which places the offender on a lifetime public registry. The information must be verified by the offender with law enforcement at least 4 times a year; January 1st through 15th; April 1st through 15th; July 1st through 15th; October 1st through 15th.
Gross Indecency involving a victim between the ages of 13 and 17 will result in a Tier II Michigan Sex Offender Registration requirement, if a conviction occurs. Tier II cases are mid range sex offenses, which places the offender on a public registry for 25 years. The information must be verified by the offender with law enforcement at least 2 times a year: between January 1st and 15th; and between June 1st and 15th.
Any sexual act committed by a sexually delinquent person that he or she is convicted of will result in at least a Tier I registration requirement or higher depending upon the circumstances related to a conviction. Tier I cases are the least severe, which places the offender on a non public registry for 15 years. The information must be verified by the offender with law enforcement at least 1 time per year.