Because Victim Wasn't Married
An appellate court ruling overturning a rape conviction because the victim wasn't married prompted anger Friday from women's groups and a state legislator who plans to introduce a bill that would close the legal loophole.
In its ruling, California's 2nd District Court of Appeal reluctantly concluded that Julio Morales hadn't raped an 18-year-old because a state law crafted in the 1870s says a person who gets consent for sex by pretending to be someone else is only guilty of rape if the victim is married and the perpetrator is pretending to be the spouse. In this case, Morales apparently pretended to be the teen's boyfriend, and she didn't recognize otherwise until seeing him in the light.
The court urged the Legislature to update the law, and state Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, said Friday that he would introduce a bill.
"Californians are justifiably outraged by this court ruling, and it is important that the Legislature join together to close whatever loopholes may exist in the law and uphold justice for rape victims," Achadjian said.
Achadjian had a 2011 bill that would have expanded the rape law to include perpetrators who pose as live-in boyfriends or girlfriends and dupe their victims into sex. The bill was approved by the Assembly but stalled in the Senate Public Safety Committee because of its policy to hold any legislation that could add to the state's prison overcrowding problem.
Achadjian said that should no longer be a problem after voters in November approved Proposition 36, revising California's three-strikes law.
The earlier bill was prompted by a Santa Barbara County case in which a man broke into a woman's home while she slept. The woman assumed the man was her live-in boyfriend and consented to sex. When she realized it wasn't her boyfriend, she resisted and the man fled.
Prosecutors couldn't pursue a felony rape charge because the woman wasn't married, she consented, and the man hadn't pretended to be her husband.
A similar law in Idaho prevented an unmarried woman from pressing rape charges three years ago after being tricked into sex with a stranger by her then-boyfriend. Idaho's law was amended to cover all women in 2011.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 01/05/2013
Editor's Note: Unbelievable...
The BasicsProject.org informational and educational pamphlet series is now available for Kindle and iPad. Click here to find out more...
The New Media Journal and BasicsProject.org are not funded by outside sources. We exist exclusively on donations from our readers and contributors.
Please make a sustaining donation today.