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  #1  
Old 03-19-2006, 08:28 PM
copperwindow copperwindow is offline
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Statutory rape.

If I, a 29 year old male, have consensual sex with a 13 year old, I can get charged with statutory rape. What if I talk an 89 year old into it? Or someone with retardation? Is it against the law?
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  #2  
Old 03-19-2006, 08:44 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Depends where you are, and what the statutes say there.

Essentially, there is no official crime named "statutory rape" -- Rape is having sexual intercourse with another without their consent. Forcible rape obviously is done by compulsion of the rape victim. But according to the statute, there are people who are deemed incapable of giving consent. They include people below the specified age of consent, who are considered incapable of withstanding the blandishments of an older person and so incapable of giving consent in any real agreement-of-equals sense. In most places they also include those who are sufficiently mentally deficient to be incapable of forming an adult level of consent, regardless of their age. An 89-year-old woman in full possession of her senses might well be thrilled to have a 29-year-old male attempting to seduce her, and be quite capable of giving consent. If she is suffering from senility and hence incapable of giving consent on the same basis as mental deficiency, the same rule applies -- sex with a person unable to give consent is rape by definition of statute, and hence statutory rape. There have been cases where someone engaged in sex with a woman so intoxicated that she was unable to give or withhold consent, and rape was charged; this would presumably be another case of statutory rape.

It might be noted further that the law does not officially define that it must be a man charged with the rape of a woman, though homosexual rape is generally charged as buggery, sodomy, etc., depending on the state's choice of terminology. But a 29-year-old woman engaging a 13-year-old boy in intercourse would be likewise chargeable with statutory rape, and similarly for an 89-year-old senile man, a mentally deficient man, etc.

It's fairly easy to identify where the whole concept of legal ability to consent falls down, and most states structure their laws in a way to deal with this. For example, in both New York and Pennsylvania, sex with a person of at least 14 where the two parties are less than four years apart in age is not deemed statutory rape, even though the actual age of consent to have sex with you as a 29-year-old is higher.
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  #3  
Old 03-19-2006, 09:53 PM
copperwindow copperwindow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polycarp
In most places they also include those who are sufficiently mentally deficient to be incapable of forming an adult level of consent, regardless of their age.
What level is needed to reach "adult level"?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polycarp
But a 29-year-old woman engaging a 13-year-old boy in intercourse would be likewise chargeable with statutory rape, and similarly for an 89-year-old senile man, a mentally deficient man, etc.
Does this mean it is against the law for an 89-year-old senile man, a mentally deficient man, etc to have sex?
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  #4  
Old 03-19-2006, 11:00 PM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copperwindow
What level is needed to reach "adult level"?

Does this mean it is against the law for an 89-year-old senile man, a mentally deficient man, etc to have sex?

I believe technically it's illegal to have sex if your drunk, or rather illegal to have sex with a drunk person, they can't give consent.

But IANAL and very well could be wrong.
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  #5  
Old 03-20-2006, 08:42 AM
Walloon Walloon is offline
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Age of Consent in the U.S. and around the world.
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  #6  
Old 03-20-2006, 09:00 AM
Jessica Rabbit Jessica Rabbit is offline
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I dealt with this law a lot. For two reasons, one being to do with child abuse in the family, the other was that I was sexually active pretty early and have always been attracted, almost exclusivly, to people at least a few years older than me.

It is not easy to find current, full laws on it in Australia. However, after a lot of searching, this is what I found (these are not for all of Australia, btw):

Under 10 = Sex is never legal (although I could find out what would happen if you were both under 10, who do they punish? Anyone? Even the parents maybe?

Over 10, under 15 = Sex is illegal if there is more than a 2 year age gap.

Over 15, under 18 = Sex is only illegal for someone who is over 18 and resposible for the teenager.

Over 18 = all "consentual" sex is legal (ie, at this point the teenager can consent for him/herself).

So as you can see, there can be a lot to it. I was expecting to just find an age, one number, but (in Australia, at least) it can be far more complex.
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:04 AM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica Rabbit
I dealt with this law a lot. For two reasons, one being to do with child abuse in the family, the other was that I was sexually active pretty early and have always been attracted, almost exclusivly, to people at least a few years older than me.

It is not easy to find current, full laws on it in Australia. However, after a lot of searching, this is what I found (these are not for all of Australia, btw):

Under 10 = Sex is never legal (although I could find out what would happen if you were both under 10, who do they punish? Anyone? Even the parents maybe?

Over 10, under 15 = Sex is illegal if there is more than a 2 year age gap.

Over 15, under 18 = Sex is only illegal for someone who is over 18 and resposible for the teenager.

Over 18 = all "consentual" sex is legal (ie, at this point the teenager can consent for him/herself).

So as you can see, there can be a lot to it. I was expecting to just find an age, one number, but (in Australia, at least) it can be far more complex.
Are you sure about those numbers? According to Age of Consent, the boundary is 16, not 15 and it varies state by state what the specifics are.
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  #8  
Old 03-20-2006, 09:16 AM
Jessica Rabbit Jessica Rabbit is offline
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Originally Posted by Shalmanese
Are you sure about those numbers? According to Age of Consent, the boundary is 16, not 15 and it varies state by state what the specifics are.
The book in which I found those numbers is in my uni library, I'll find it tomorrow and look it up again (that was a while ago, there might be a new book out now, I haven't need that law in the last few months ::has found one great thing about being 18:.
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  #9  
Old 03-20-2006, 01:42 PM
Billdo Billdo is offline
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Under the article of the New York Penal Law onSex Offences:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sec. 130.05(3)
3. A person is deemed incapable of consent when he or she is:
(a) less than seventeen years old; or
(b) mentally disabled; or
(c) mentally incapacitated; or
(d) physically helpless; or
(e) committed to the care and custody of the state department of correctional services or a hospital, . . . , and the actor is an employee, not married to such person, who knows or reasonably should know that such person is committed to the care and custody of such department or hospital. . . .
The terms in (b), (c) and (d) are defined as:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sec. 130.00
5. "Mentally disabled" means that a person suffers from a mental disease or defect which renders him or her incapable of appraising the
nature of his or her conduct.
6. "Mentally incapacitated" means that a person is rendered temporarily incapable of appraising or controlling his conduct owing to the influence of a narcotic or intoxicating substance administered to him without his consent, or to any other act committed upon him without his consent.
7. "Physically helpless" means that a person is unconscious or for any other reason is physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act.
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  #10  
Old 03-20-2006, 06:17 PM
copperwindow copperwindow is offline
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So does this mean that the mentally impared are not leagally allowed to engage in sex?
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  #11  
Old 03-20-2006, 06:24 PM
Zabali_Clawbane Zabali_Clawbane is offline
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I think that law means if the person is in a mental facility, one of the workers in that facility can't have sex with the patient/inmate. That's how I understood it.
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  #12  
Old 03-20-2006, 06:48 PM
copperwindow copperwindow is offline
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Okay, let's dumb it down a bit. If I'm a person suffers from a mental disease or defect which renders me incapable of appraising the nature of my conduct, what ever that means, can I have consenual sex without the state telling me that in actuallyity, I was raped?
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  #13  
Old 03-20-2006, 07:07 PM
Zabali_Clawbane Zabali_Clawbane is offline
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I'd say it depends on the person. I do think there are some people who are the mental/emotional age of a child involved in court cases because they had sex, and the prosecutors went forth with the idea that they could never consent, because they can't understand things as an adult can, and ever will be able to due to their illness. (I can't bring up cites for this, maybe someone knows of one of the cases I'm speaking of.) Some people will never be able to give consent, but the number is pretty low I'd say.
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  #14  
Old 03-20-2006, 07:18 PM
doreen doreen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copperwindow
Okay, let's dumb it down a bit. If I'm a person suffers from a mental disease or defect which renders me incapable of appraising the nature of my conduct, what ever that means, can I have consenual sex without the state telling me that in actuallyity, I was raped?
The person suffering from a mental disease or defect which renders him or her incapable of appraising the nature of their conduct cannot have consensual sex, because the person is legally incapable of consent. But the mental disease or defect doesn't mean someone with an IQ of 85, or who has been diagnosed with depression. Think of someone far more disabled, the sort of person whose parents spend their lives worrying about who will take care of him or her after the parents die, because the child will never be able to live on their own. The kind of people who have guardians to make the medical, financial and legal decisions that the person is incapable of making for him or her self
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Old 03-20-2006, 07:31 PM
copperwindow copperwindow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doreen
The person suffering from a mental disease or defect which renders him or her incapable of appraising the nature of their conduct cannot have consensual sex, because the person is legally incapable of consent. But the mental disease or defect doesn't mean someone with an IQ of 85, or who has been diagnosed with depression. Think of someone far more disabled, the sort of person whose parents spend their lives worrying about who will take care of him or her after the parents die, because the child will never be able to live on their own. The kind of people who have guardians to make the medical, financial and legal decisions that the person is incapable of making for him or her self
Okay, let's say I'm an 89 year old suffering from alzheimer disease. I'm living in an assisted living program and I'm not completely sure where I am. In my haze, I go to a bar and meet someone who thinks alzheimer disease is kinda sexy and I think "well, I haven't had sex in the past decade, and I think I miss it...". Was I raped, even if I put the moves on?
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Old 03-20-2006, 08:08 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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cooperwindow, whether you are capable of "appraising the nature of your conduct" would be a question before the experts that examine you in the investigative phase of the case, and before the Court in the trial phase. And it would be a very rare DA/Court that would not have at its disposal a large body of precedent and psychologists' writings as to what exactly meets that test in your jurisdiction: they will not be making it up out of thin air for you.

(That, as opposed to us in this Message Boards, who have to speculate some hypothetical "Anywheresville" district where some generic universal rule applies.)

And if you indeed are diagnosed as having a degree of mental disability that renders you incapable of any meaningful consent, by the standard of the Law and the Court, then under the law (at least where I live) the other party has committed a sexual battery and whether or not you wanted it or even enjoyed it is not determinant. In "statutory" rape, one of the basic presumptions is that the party who is an adult in full use of his/her physical/mental faculties should know better than to take advantage of someone who is not so, and is legally obligated to not go along with the advances of the impaired person.

In your latest hypothetical, the "someone who thinks dementia's sexy" would probably get off with a mental impairment defense of his/her own, as any court in the land would rule that that's just not normal...
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  #17  
Old 03-20-2006, 08:23 PM
copperwindow copperwindow is offline
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I have sexual relations with my girlfriend (I hope that's not "too much information" for the teeming millions). I am not a board certified psychiatrist, and cannot make an accurate diagnosis as to her state of mind. How am I to know whether or not I am raping her? And if she were hypothetically incapable of aIppraising the nature of her conduct and overpowered me by stregnth and rapes me, was I raped? Were either of us rapes, so far as the law is concerned? If both of us and incapable of appraising the nature of our conduct and we have sex, who raped who?
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  #18  
Old 03-20-2006, 08:34 PM
Zabali_Clawbane Zabali_Clawbane is offline
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If you are that uncertain, you might go with the idea put forth in this news story.
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Old 03-20-2006, 08:46 PM
doreen doreen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copperwindow
I have sexual relations with my girlfriend (I hope that's not "too much information" for the teeming millions). I am not a board certified psychiatrist, and cannot make an accurate diagnosis as to her state of mind. How am I to know whether or not I am raping her?
Actually, in NY it's pretty easy to know. If you don't know that she has such a mental disease or defect, then that's an affirmative defense and you won't be found guilty of rape if you're believed-( if you're even somehow arrested and prosecuted). Could work if you picked her up in a bar after she wandered out of the group home. Probably not if you grew up living next door to each other.


BTW, the standard for being capable of consent in NY is not all that different from the standard for being held criminally responsible. So if you're both incapable of consent, chances are neither of you can be held crimminally responsible either.
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Old 03-20-2006, 11:35 PM
Go You Big Red Fire Engine Go You Big Red Fire Engine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica Rabbit
I dealt with this law a lot. For two reasons, one being to do with child abuse in the family, the other was that I was sexually active pretty early and have always been attracted, almost exclusivly, to people at least a few years older than me.

It is not easy to find current, full laws on it in Australia. However, after a lot of searching, this is what I found (these are not for all of Australia, btw):

Under 10 = Sex is never legal (although I could find out what would happen if you were both under 10, who do they punish? Anyone? Even the parents maybe?

Over 10, under 15 = Sex is illegal if there is more than a 2 year age gap.

Over 15, under 18 = Sex is only illegal for someone who is over 18 and resposible for the teenager.

Over 18 = all "consentual" sex is legal (ie, at this point the teenager can consent for him/herself).

So as you can see, there can be a lot to it. I was expecting to just find an age, one number, but (in Australia, at least) it can be far more complex.
Not quite right. The Criminal Code act of 1995 states(268.14, you'll have to scroll a lot):
Quote:
(1) A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:
(a) the perpetrator sexually penetrates another person without the consent of that person; and
(b) the perpetrator knows of, or is reckless as to, the lack of consent; and
...
(3) In this section:

consent means free and voluntary agreement.

The following are examples of circumstances in which a person does not consent to an act:

(a) the person submits to the act because of force or the fear of force to the person or to someone else;
(b) the person submits to the act because the person is unlawfully detained;
(c) the person is asleep or unconscious, or is so affected by alcohol or another drug as to be incapable of consenting;
(d) the person is incapable of understanding the essential nature of the act;
(e) the person is mistaken about the essential nature of the act (for example, the person mistakenly believes that the act is for medical or hygienic purposes);
(f) the person submits to the act because of psychological oppression or abuse of power;
(g)the person submits to the act because of the perpetrator taking advantage of a coercive environment.
Also, this is a historical act that I am not sure is still relevant as I have not much experience with law(they amending it at the moment, so it must be?), but I have found nothing more recent:
Quote:
92E.(1) A person who engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is under the age of 10 years is guilty of an offence punishable, on
conviction, by imprisonment for 17 years.
(2) A person who engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is
of or above the age of 10 years but under the age of 16 years is guilty of an
offence punishable, on conviction, by imprisonment for 14 years.
(3) It is a defence to a prosecution for an offence under subsection (2) if
the defendant establishes that:
(a) he or she believed on reasonable grounds that the person upon whom the
offence is alleged to have been committed was of or above the age of 16 years;
or
(b) at the time of the alleged offence, the defendant was not more than 2
years older than the person upon whom the offence is alleged to have been
committed;
and that that person consented to the sexual intercourse.
Also, if you're under 10 you are "incapable" of committing a crime. See the Criminal Code Act 1995, under Part 2.3 Division 7. So, if two 10 year olds have sex, no-one is punished.
Currently, if you are in NSW there is a discrepency between the sexes and sexual orientation for the age. There is a bill that is being passed that will make this equal at 16. This is also denying people the ability to claim a reasonable mistake of age (3a above int he historical act).

But way to go for bringing in the fact you like having sex with older men. It's really appropriate in GQ.
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Old 03-21-2006, 12:04 AM
Triskadecamus Triskadecamus is offline
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Well, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you are not legally incompetent unless you are a legal minor, or have been adjudicated to be incompetent. So, mental illness, or mental retardation must have been legally noted by a court.

However.

If you are receiving services under any program run by, or supported by the Commonwealth or the United States, any employee of that service provider, and any employee of the Commonwealth is prohibited from having any sexual contact with you whatsoever. This includes sexual activities not at the place of services, or at the place of employment.

Uncoerced sexual acts between mentally retarded people are not criminal acts. They are damned near impossible though. Long ago the view was that normal emotional and sexual growth was only possible if such behavior was allowed, and even passively facilitated. Times change, though.

Mentally ill people are somewhat more difficult to discourage. Folks in the nut house have sex rather more often than folks outside of it. Among the things they might be doing, it rates several rungs down from the top on the list of stuff to keep people from doing.

One point, though. The absence of legal ability to consent is a matter of fact, and foreknowledge of that fact is not necessary for the act to be rape. "She looked old enough to me!" isn't a legal defense.

Tris
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Old 03-21-2006, 02:21 AM
Jessica Rabbit Jessica Rabbit is offline
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This is the website of the people who published the book where I found what I quoted, it was printed in 2002, and after looking at it again, it does say what I put up. However, it does not actually quote the laws and is written for the teenagers, not the law students.
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Old 03-21-2006, 02:22 AM
Jessica Rabbit Jessica Rabbit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Go You Big Red Fire Engine
But way to go for bringing in the fact you like having sex with older men. It's really appropriate in GQ.
Ok, ok, I get it, I'm going.
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  #24  
Old 03-21-2006, 09:11 AM
Mathochist Mathochist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polycarp
But a 29-year-old woman engaging a 13-year-old boy in intercourse would be likewise chargeable with statutory rape
Nitpick, along with the standard disclaimer: this varies widely by jurisdiction.

In particular, in a number of states the wording of the "rape" statute insists upon penetration of the rapee by the rapist, thus this situation would at most count as sexual assault.
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Old 03-21-2006, 09:39 AM
Malacandra Malacandra is offline
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Originally Posted by Go You Big Red Fire Engine
But way to go for bringing in the fact you like having sex with older men.
You say this like it was a bad thing. Or unusual.
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Old 03-21-2006, 07:14 PM
samclem samclem is online now
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Originally Posted by Go You Big Red Fire Engine

But way to go for bringing in the fact you like having sex with older men. It's really appropriate in GQ.
[Moderator hat ON]

Dear Ms. Engine. I don't know what bug got up your ass, but cut it out now. This is your second insulting post towards the guest in 24 hours.

As I often tell new posters, there's this triangle in the upper right hand corner of the window. Learn how to use it. You're NOT a new poster.

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Old 03-21-2006, 08:13 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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You're really overanalyzing it, cooperwindow. The law is not one great big game of "gotcha!", lying in ambush to haul us off to jail merely for casually living our lives.

As doreen and Triskadecamus have mentioned, there are specific parameters (varying per jurisdiction) that the Court, or even the investigative agency, must follow in order to even proceed with a case, and specific parameters based on written law and precedent for when it is that a particular sexual act constitutes (N)th degree sexual battery, or whatever it is that the term is used. Burden-of-proof still applies, the state has to show that those conditions were met.
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Old 03-21-2006, 08:50 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathochist
Nitpick, along with the standard disclaimer: this varies widely by jurisdiction.

In particular, in a number of states the wording of the "rape" statute insists upon penetration of the rapee by the rapist, thus this situation would at most count as sexual assault.
True, but: (1) I did say intercourse, and (2) I'll assume we're not discussing Spain or a random Third World country that happens not to have enacted an age of consent. With that, my statement is essentially true: an adult woman who copulates with a 13-year-old boy is chargeable with statutory rape essentially in all jurisdictions. In point of fact, many would in practice place the charge at a lesser included offense, such as "sexual assault," "carnal abuse," or "sexual misconduct" -- but the principle is there: the laws are (everywhere I know of) gender-neutral on this.
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Old 03-21-2006, 08:52 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathochist
Nitpick, along with the standard disclaimer: this varies widely by jurisdiction.

In particular, in a number of states the wording of the "rape" statute insists upon penetration of the rapee by the rapist, thus this situation would at most count as sexual assault.
And on rereading your post, I see I missed your point: yes, in a jurisdiction which in fact insists on penetration of rapee by rapist, you are correct. My apologies. As a casual question related to this, do you have any source that would indicate where this is in fact the case? I'm curious as to the relative prevalence of that sort of statute.
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Old 03-21-2006, 09:35 PM
saoirse saoirse is offline
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Originally Posted by Zabali_Clawbane
If you are that uncertain, you might go with the idea put forth in this news story.
Good Lord. It's not legally binding at all, and a near guarantee you that if you present this to your potential f-buddy, s/he will not do any of the things stipulated in the contract.
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:52 AM
Mathochist Mathochist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polycarp
the laws are (everywhere I know of) gender-neutral on this.
I'll admit I haven't looked up this particular statute to see if it's been changed in a while, but in Maryland in the mid-to-late-90s the wording was such that the rapist had to penetrate the rapee -- a technicality I specifically pointed out before. It's unclear (though I'll give the benefit of the doubt) whether a woman could be charged for wielding an instrument, but in intercourse she is definitely not the penetrator.

Checking the code online (it's in the 3-300s), that section has been updated since we harangued about this in my high school social studies class. However, a close reading shows that nonconsensual (forcible or statutory) sex is only "rape" if it's vaginal intercourse. So to everyone on frat row at UMD, after dragging the drugged girl upstairs, make sure to do her in the butt.
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Old 04-21-2006, 06:03 PM
copperwindow copperwindow is offline
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Okay, let me rephrase. If a 43 year old man with Alzheimer's disease or mental retardation or whatever has sex with a 12 year old girl, was there 0, 1, or 2 rapes occuring?
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Old 04-21-2006, 06:14 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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Y'know, I really shouldn't, but hell, somebody's gonna, might as well...

copperwindow, what's with the reiterative hypotheticals? (which this time around it seems it took you a month to come up with the latest one!) Is there a point you wish to make?
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Old 04-21-2006, 06:18 PM
copperwindow copperwindow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRDelirious
copperwindow, what's with the reiterative hypotheticals? (which this time around it seems it took you a month to come up with the latest one!) Is there a point you wish to make?
No point, I just wish to understand the law better.
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Old 04-21-2006, 06:25 PM
Walloon Walloon is offline
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How is asking about situations that have little or no chance of happening going to help you understand the law?
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Old 04-21-2006, 07:36 PM
copperwindow copperwindow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walloon
How is asking about situations that have little or no chance of happening going to help you understand the law?
How can you say what the chances are? What evidence do you have to support whether there is high, little, or no chance? I'm trying to understand how the law defines rape in particular situation, regardless of what the chance of it happening is. Any answers?
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Old 04-21-2006, 10:04 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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The answers have been given, copperwindow, as to what the Law is. What the law does not do is nail down absolutely every imaginable convergence of circumstances; that's why we name thinking humans to the bench, to handle the nuances.

In your latest hypothetical scenario, I'l simplify it further: "What if two people, neither of whom under the law is competent to give valid consent or apprise the nature of their conduct, engage in sex."

IANAL but it seems to me in such a situation the case would be brought forward, and the parties examined according to established rules and protocols, and if truly both parties are legally completely noncompetent then it's plausible that the court would not proceed to a criminal conviction, but instead an action would be taken for both their "protection" whereby it's ordered a social services or mental health "intervention". Which is not the same as "nothing happened"...
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Old 04-21-2006, 10:13 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: San Juan, PR
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And I just noticed that there was an answer for this a month ago!

Quote:
Originally Posted by doreen
BTW, the standard for being capable of consent in NY is not all that different from the standard for being held criminally responsible. So if you're both incapable of consent, chances are neither of you can be held crimminally responsible either.
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