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When is rape rape?

Posted by Rick · February 6th, 2007 · No Comments

Okay. I confess. I’m confused.

Time magazine has an online article right now about a guy who was convicted for rape.

No biggee, right? Happens every day. The twist here is that the woman consented to sex. After sex started, she changed her mind and asked him to stop.

The accuser and the defendant agree that after he began to penetrate her and she wanted him to stop, he did so within a matter of seconds and did not climax. — Jennie Lee-St. John, A Time Limit on Rape (February 1, 2007) Time, in parternship with CNN.

That’s the part that confuses me. Both parties indicate that the boy stopped within seconds of being asked to stop.

I did a quick Internet search after writing that last paragraph, because, as I said, it just didn’t make sense. As Paul Harvey used to say, “And now……….the rest of the story….”

Apparently the boy — yep, boy; he’s 16 years old, convicted of first-degree rape — and the 18-year-old girl engaged in consensual sex. The girl says she agreed to have sex if he would stop when she asked him to stop. So apparently, he started trying to have sex with her. She says she asked him to stop; he says he did not hear that, but that she “sat up” and he took that as a sign that he was supposed to stop, and did.

Part of the problem here is that apparently another boy was involved earlier, but had left the scene. That first boy did rape the girl and later entered a guilty plea. So as to the second boy, the initial “consent” may have felt, at least to the girl-woman involved, as not really a consent.

Still…16 years old, thinks he’s having consensual sex (and, remember, the woman did not deny this on the stand), stops when he’s told and now he gets first-degree rape. In some states, that’s a really long prison term. And, of course, you have to register as a sex offender.

Categories: Law and Legal Issues


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