I have longed for thy salvation, O L-RD; and thy Torah is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments. Psalm 119:174-176

05 January 2013

The Girl Effect part 28 - How the courts sometimes fail rape victims

German road in winter - Photo by J. Stahl

I've been poking around the news on the internet, and I have to say that I am utterly shocked - as in somewhere between rendered totally speechless and could do someone some seriously bodily harm and yeah. Gobsmacked.

Via Jezebel, I read the following story:

California Court Declares That It’s Not Rape If The Unconscious Women You Trick Into Sleeping With You Isn’t Married

In a 3-0 appeals court opinion, Justice Thomas Willhite wrote that under existing California law, such deception is only a crime if the perpetrator pretends to be a woman's husband (an anomaly the justices "urge the Legislature to reexamine").
"Has the man committed rape?" Justice Willhite wrote in the Second Appellate District Court's opinon. "Because of historical anomalies in the law and the statutory definition of rape, the answer is no, even though, if the woman had been married and the man had impersonated her husband, the answer would be yes."
CA Court: It's not rape since victim wasn't married

The judges said the law doesn't provide unwed women the same protections as married ones in certain rape cases, the AP reported. They overturned defendant Julio Morales' conviction and remanded the case for retrial.

The decision also encouraged state legislators look at the longtime law, which the judges said was written in response to cases in England and other places that held a woman wasn't raped if she thought the assailant was her husband.
Senator Evans vows to introduce rape-law change after recent conviction reversal

Morales' first trial ended in a hung jury. Jurors in the second trial convicted him of rape of an unconscious person after prosecutors told them they could find him guilty under two conditions: either the victim was sleeping, unconscious or not able to refuse sex, or else the attacker misled her or lied about his identity.
Calif. court orders new trial in rape of sleeping woman
The three justices found that prosecutors advanced two theories at the time of trial. One was the impersonator theory, which the appeals court threw out. But prosecutors also suggested Morales raped a sleeping woman. When the case is retried, prosecutors will have to rely only on that theory, the court found.
Court Frees Rapist, Rules Only Married Women Protected by Law

I have a lot I could say about this, but, I'll be good and mind my manners and totally not go there with my language.


  1. I'm sorry but if a women isn't fully aware who she is sleeping with she cannot consent.
    If she isn't even aware that the sex happened then she can't consent.

    TMI but I've woken up in the morning a few times wondering if the nights activities was a dream or not. If a woman who is not married felt like that about it then she was not able to consent.

  2. that is absolutely appalling. My heart is broken for this woman and for the others who are affected by this...the only safe words I can think of are "poor decision" The courts are utterly failing to protect victims.