Rape is a very complicated criminal charge that relies heavily on one party’s claim of consent. In the state of California, rape falls under the broader category of sexual assault, which can include groping or other unwanted sexual contact. In some cases, physical evidence can be used to prove or disprove rape charges. Commonly, however, prosecution relies heavily on witness testimony. Due to the significant impact a rape charge can have on someone’s life, it is highly recommended that those accused with rape contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
California state law explains that rape may occur:
- If the defendant used physical force, duress, or threats;
- If the victim reacted due to fear of physical harm or physical harm to another person;
- If the victim lacked the ability to consent. This includes the victim being intoxicated, physically disabled, or having a developmental delay;
- If the victim was unconscious, asleep, or not aware that sexual intercourse was happening;
- If the defendant used fraudulent representation to induce sexual intercourse
Further, there are several types of rape in California. Below are a few examples.
Date Rape: This occurs if the person dating or in a current relationship with some individual rapes that individual. Certain drugs, such as GHB and Rohypnol, are commonly associated with date rape, as they have been used to intoxicate the rapists’ victims. Date rape drugs can render the victim unconscious and easily susceptible to sexual assault. Possessing common date rape drugs with the intent to commit sexual assault or rape could lead to felony charges.
Statutory Rape: Also known as unlawful sex with a minor, statutory rape occurs when any person engages in sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 18. In California, statutory rape is a crime whether the minor, or victim of the crime, consented to having sex or not. Rape under California law is a felony.
Intoxication Rape: If an individual gives drugs or alcohol to a person with the intention of getting them intoxicated and then rapes them, the individual has participated in intoxication rape. In these cases, the victim may have lacked the ability to consent due to being drunk or unconscious, depending on the drug used on them. By being unable to give consent, the victim can accuse the individual who initiated sexual intercourse of rape and have them charged with a felony.
Spousal Rape: Rape can occur to spouses in a marriage. Definition of this rape is like that of California rape laws: the victim must not give consent and further, must also be the spouse of the accused. This crime also falls under California’s domestic violence laws. Individuals accused of spousal rape could run into more charges and punishments if convicted.
Foreign Object Rape: Also known as forcible penetration with a foreign object, if an individual’s vagina or anus is penetrated without their consent using a foreign object such as fingers, sex toys, or even bottles, the person has been a victim of foreign object rape. The inability to give consent can include circumstances where the victim is intoxicated, disabled or unconscious.
If you’ve been accused of any of these types of sexual assaults, cease contact with the defendant and contact an attorney immediately. The criminal defense lawyers at the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, LLP can help lend a hand in your criminal defense case.