Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Pederasty Definition:

A sexual abuse crime wherein an adult male grooms and sexually assaults an adolescent male outside of his family.

Related Terms: Homosexuality

While promoted by the Greeks, pederasty has been a crime since at least the time of Justinian.

Pederasty is not generally recognized as a separate crime in most modern societies as the conduct is captured and harshly punished under general child sexual assault offences.

The Visigoth Code of 650 provided as follows under “concerning pederasty”:

“That crime must not be unpunished which, in the violation of morality, has always been considered most execrable; we therefore decree, in cases of pederasty, where their guilt has been proved after proper investigation by the judge, that both parties shall be emasculated (castrated) without delay, and be delivered up to the bishop of the diocese where the deed was committed to be placed in solitary confinement in a prison; so that, against their will, they may expiate the crime which they are convicted of having voluntarily perpetrated.

“If, however, any one should have been forced to commit this horrible offence, and is proved to have done so unwillingly, he shall then not be liable to punishment, if the person who discovered the crime should be present as a witness; but he who engaged in it voluntarily shall undergo the full penalty. The children, or legitimate heirs of married men who have been found guilty of this crime, shall have their property; and shall be lawful for their wives, having received back their dowries, and retaining all their possessions, to afterwards marry whomsoever they will.”

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