Friday, April 18, 2008

Maryland Reverses Hideous Rape Ruling

Thank God: The Maryland Court of Appeals (Maryland's highest court) has unanimously reversed a lower court ruling which held that a woman could not withdraw consent once penetration had occurred. The argument was that the common law held only the "deflowering" to be the crime in rape, so once that had occurred the damage was done. As a proud Marylander, it was extremely embarrassing to be associated with that sort of logic, and I'm glad it's been officially overruled.

Via Feministe

UPDATE: As I wrote in the other post, I stake no claim as to whether this case, on its facts (the defendant claims he withdrew five seconds after consent was withdrawn -- I don't know if that account is disputed by the victim), should have yielded a conviction. But as a point of law, the principle that rape cannot happen once penetration has been achieved is atrocious and rightfully has been overruled. Appellate courts rule on matters of law, not fact, and the legal point at issue here clearly needed to be reversed.


Anonymous said...

This ruling clears the way for women to just lie and say they were raped, if the man is already inside of them there is DNA evidence. Then they could just say, no i never said i wanted it, bam! rape law suit. If a man wants to protect his fortune he can no longer have sex with a woman.

PG said...

Let's assume anonymous is correct and some women get their jollies from false rape accusations against men with whom they had consensual sex.

Civil suits for rape are not commonplace and tend to be brought only if a criminal trial (with its presumption of innocence for the defendant and "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard) fails to produce a conviction, or if prosecutors refuse to bring charges. As far as I know, the rape shield statutes, which theoretically protect the accuser from having her sexual history trotted out in criminal court, do not apply to civil suits. A woman who sues a man for sexual assault and seeks damages sets herself up for a discovery process that includes demands for information on her sexual history -- who, when, where, how, etc.

If a man wants to protect his fortune he can no longer have sex with a woman.

I'm always bemused by the idea that it is horribly oppressive for men not to be able to have sex without consequences with any random female. "Why do I have to be sure that she's of the age of consent? That's sooo unfair!" I never seem to hear women complaining about this, regardless of whether they are heterosexual or homosexual.

Unknown said...

Yes, women are all good at heart and never make things up. Please, the system completely favors women and they know it. Real rape is horrible and should be punishable at the highest level. This is too ambiguous.

David Schraub said...

Gosh, I wish I were a woman. They have it so easy. The system totally favors them. Not only can I have the pressure of potential pregnancy during sex (it's more fun when it's dangerous!), I can have all the fun of being the star witness in a rape trial when it's over! It's like, the perfect weekend outing!

Anonymous said...

As I understand it. The rape here is that the boy (he was 16, the woman 18 yrs old) remained in the woman for 5 seconds after she withdrew consent. For this he goes to jail for 15yrs.

Personally I'd much rather be sued than go to jail. So whether women sue or not is pointless. I would also much rather have my sexual history dragged out in court than go to jail for 15yrs.

It is a truly despicable ruling.


Anonymous said...

If this was an 18 year old woman and a 16 year old minor boy, she should have gone to jail for statutory rape.