Sex by deception wasn't rape - US court

by Jess McCabe // 12 May 2007, 18:45

A Massachusetts court has ruled that rape can only be rape if it involves force, not fraud, reports ABC News.

The case involved a man who tricked a woman into having sex with him by pretending to be his brother - her boyfriend.

The woman told police she was asleep alone in the bedroom she shared with her longtime boyfriend when a man came in, climbed into bed and had sexual intercourse with her, according to the SJC decision.

The woman said that during the intercourse she believed the man was her boyfriend. Had she known it was the defendant, she would never have consented, she said.

Suliveres claimed the sex was consensual, telling police the woman came to him while he was asleep in another room and invited him to her bedroom to have sex, court documents said.

This is crazy. It's obviously rape. If you don't have the means to consent - you're unconscious, or you're catalytic, or drugged, or the person having sex with you is pretending to be someone they're not, it's rape. If this isn't rape, then neither is drug rape. Rohypnol, the most commonly-known rape drug, works by removing inhibitions (as well as effecting memory so women won't know what's happened to them). Yet we don't say that men who slip women this drug and then rape them are not rapists because they used a sort of deception.

Incidentally, note the disturbing use of a soft-focus photo of a man and women apparently having consensual sex to illustrate ABC's story. Yuck.

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