SACRAMENTO CALIFORNIA CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
Rape – “unlawful carnal knowledge” – is sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent. As far as the law in most states is concerned, a man cannot be “raped,” although he can be sodomized.
The rapist does not have to use physical force; threats of harm are sufficient. In most enlightened states, the victim does not have to resist the rapist physically, especially where any resistance would be futile and might subject her to more danger. For example, if a rapist wields a knife in front of his victim, telling her that he will slit her throat if she does not cooperate, the woman does not have to attempt to struggle with the rapist. To do so could well mean her death.
Is it rape even if the assailant does not reach climax? Yes. The crime of rape is committed as soon as there is any penetration of the woman’s vagina by the man’s penis. Inserting a foreign object into the woman’s vagina is “rape by artifice.” “Sodomy” is a broad crime covering any forced sexual act that is deemed unnatural, including anal or oral copulation.
Suppose an impotent man is accused of rape. Can he be convicted of that crime? The old rule was that if he can prove his impotency he would be physically incapable of rape and therefore innocent. But with the development of Viagra and various pumps, previously impotent men are now capable of getting an erection. To prove whether the claimed impotent man was guilty of rape can be proved or disproved by DNA testing. But if the man is truly impotent, then he cannot be convicted of rape. In some states, however, he can be convicted of attempted rape. But those states that require the actual ability to commit the crime as an element of an attempt, he could not be guilty of an attempted rape. But he could be guilty of assault, battery, and false imprisonment.
Historically, a married man could not be found guilty of raping his wife, although he could be guilty of some other crime, such as assault or battery. Today, however, most states have laws that make it rape for a married man to force himself upon his wife when she refuses to engage in sexual relations.
In California, any sexual intercourse between an adult ages 18 and over with a minor under the age of 18 is illegal and therefore, considered statutory rape. Statutory rape is a crime regardless if the sex was consensual. It’s under the premise that minors are incapable of giving informed consent to sexual intercourse. Although statutory rape does not require the prosecutor prove an assault, it is still considered rape. That means, a college 19 year old male who is still in a relationship and has regular sexual lintercourse with his 17 year old girlfriend, is guilty of statutory rape. So even if the sex was consensual, it is illegal and to make matters worse, a lot of innocent people are charged with it.
The penalties of statutory rape can vary and mostly depend on the ages of the defendant and victim. Depending on the age differences, the crime can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. For misdemeanors, punishment may include probation, a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, or some combination of these penalties. For felonies, punishment could be up to 4 years in prison, probation and up to $10,000 in fines. Furthermore, state law requires that anyone charged of a sex crime must register as sex offenders.
If you have been accused of statutory rape, consult a defendant because there are a couple of defenses that may be applied to you. One such exception would be a marital exception. If a minor is married to someone over 18 years, they legally give consent. The “Romeo and Juliet” exception is for minors and adults who have a 3 year age difference or less. And the last one is if the defendant honestly did not know the age of the minor.