State lawmaker proposes bill to outlaw necrophilia in New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — At least one state lawmaker believes it is time to outlaw necrophilia in New Mexico.
New Mexico State Rep. Stefani Lord, R-Sandia Park, is set to introduce a bill during the upcoming 30-day legislative session to formally establish necrophilia as a crime in our state.
Necrophilia is the act of performing a sexual act with a dead body.
“When I found out there have been women murdered in New Mexico, and then their corpse is assaulted afterward, I was like, ‘I don’t understand why this has not been criminalized yet,’” Rep. Lord said.
Lord’s bill would make it a fourth-degree felony to desecrate a dead human body. It would make certain sexual acts a third-degree felony. Meanwhile, it would make sexual penetration a second-degree felony.
“I can’t wrap my head around why you would think this is not the right thing to do,” Lord said.
New Mexico is one of five U.S. states without a law against necrophilia. According to Lord, New Mexico courts have addressed it before.
In 2021, the state Supreme Court ruled legal protections against rape apply to people who died. That ruling came after authorities arrested Lorenzo Martinez for murdering and then raping a Clovis woman back in 2017.
That ruling encouraged state lawmakers to address the issue.
“It has happened, and it does happen,” Lord said. “Even if it was just one person, if it was your family member, you would want it stopped.”
Lord says there is not much data showing how common necrophilia is in New Mexico. Authorities currently do not track it as a crime.
She says her conversations with law enforcement agencies across the state revealed there have been several necrophilia incidents over the years.
“While it’s not prolific, it doesn’t matter. Even if it’s one, that’s all that matters,” Lord said.
Rep. Lord’s proposal is drawing parallels to a bill during the previous legislative session to outlaw bestiality in New Mexico. At the time, New Mexico was one of two states without a law against bestiality.
Last year, the state House and Senate unanimously approved the bestiality bill before Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed it into law. Lord is hoping her bill sees a similar outcome.
“To me, it just is something that should be like the bestiality bill. That just flew through all the committees and the floor. This should be the exact same thing. It should fly through the committees and the floor,” Lord said.
It’s difficult to predict if lawmakers will give Rep. Lord’s proposal a hearing during the upcoming session. The governor’s priorities largely dictate the session, which starts Jan. 16.