The crime of rape is defined as nonconsensual sexual intercourse normally by use of force, threat, or intimidation. Additionally, the illegal act of having sexual intercourse with a person below the age of consent, normally between the ages of 16 and 18, is considered to be “statutory rape” regardless if consent has been given.
Although many states have expanded upon the original definition of rape to include unwanted anal intercourse, unwanted oral sex, and non consensual penetration by any body part or object, the basis of these additions are based off of the common definition of rape which occurs at the moment of sexual penetration by the male sex organ. Rape in which threats or physical force is used to non consensually penetrate the female organ is the most notable form of rape, called “forcible rape”. It is also common for most states to have laws regarding multiple other types of rape in which the attacker forces the victim to drink alcohol or take drugs and is therefore unable to fight back their attacker let alone consent to sexual intercourse. Additionally, there are also laws preventing rape in which a victim is unable to give proper consent to any sexual act because of a mental illness or disability.
It it also common for state laws to divide the charge of rape into degrees. Second degree rape usually involves no other bodily harm other than the act of rape itself while first degree rape normally includes other types of additional physical injuries caused by the attacker other than the rape itself, which will normally carry more severe punishments and likely more jail time.
Most states across the country also have decided that if an attacker penetrates a victim non consensually, it is completely irrelevant if the two people involved are married or not. Although this is true, it is sometimes more difficult to show that the intercourse was non consensual when the two people are a married couple yet this depends almost entirely on the facts and context of the case.
When a person unknown to the victim attacks and rapes them, it is commonly called “stranger rape”. Many times these crimes occur in isolated places where an attacker may find a victim alone and unable to reach help. On the other hand, in the case of “date rape”, the attacker and the victim did indeed know each other before the attack had occurred. It is usually a social or romantic relationship in which one party forces the other into any type of unwanted sexual contact. It is also possible for the two parties to have just met in a social setting when the rape occurs later within a short period of time.
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Being charged with any type of rape is extremely serious and should never be taken lightly. If you have been charged with rape it may be in your best interest to consult with a committed rape attorney with years of experience dealing with all types of rape cases. An experienced attorney will be able to understand and navigate the law. Contact John W. Tumelty today so that we may get started working on your case and get the best result possible for you.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.