Teresa Pope was charged with solicitation of the crime against nature for offering oral sex for money to two undercover police officers.5 Solicitation is an inchoate offense-like attempt or conspiracy-that relies on the criminality of the underlying conduct. 6 Although oral sex by itself cannot be criminalized post-Lawrence, the North Carolina Court of Appeals held in State v. Pope that the charge of solicitation of the crime against nature survived Lawrence by virtue of an exception in that decision allowing criminalization of prostitution. "10 In State v. Richardson, the Supreme Court of North Carolina construed this statute to apply only to vaginal, heterosexual sex.11 Consistent with the canon that criminal laws are to be interpreted narrowly, the court explained that "[i]f the legislature wishes to include within [the prostitution statute] other sexual acts, such as cunnilingus, fellatio, masturbation, buggery or sodomy, it should do so with specificity.
Christopher R. Murray,
Grappling with “Solicitation”: The Need For Statutory Reform in North Carolina after Lawrence v. Texas,
14 Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy
Available at: https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/djglp/vol14/iss1/20