An Oklahoma court has stunned local prosecutors with a declaration that state law doesn’t criminalize oral sex with a victim who is completely unconscious.
The ruling, a unanimous decision by the state’s criminal appeals court, is sparking outrage among critics who say the judicial system was engaged in victim-blaming and buying outdated notions about rape.
And, apparently, this is actually in accord with Oklahoma law, which still uses a standard requiring resistance.
Michelle Anderson is a feminist legal theorist, who takes this to be, legally though obviously NOT morally, the right ruling.
Michelle Anderson, the dean of the CUNY School of Law who has written extensively about rape law, called the ruling “appropriate” but the law “archaic”.
“This is a call for the legislature to change the statute, which is entirely out of step with what other states have done in this area and what Oklahoma should do,” she said. “It creates a huge loophole for sexual abuse that makes no sense.”
For more, go here.
Apparently Oklahoma is acting to change the law.
One thought on “Oklahoma: Not rape if victim is unconscious”
The Guardian reporting on this is inaccurate and your headline inherits some of the inaccuracy. There was no rape charge in this case and so no rape charge was dismissed. Oklahoma rape law does not require a conscious victim.
Oklahoma law distinguishes rape and forcible sodomy and neither charge includes the other. In this case a charge of forcible sodomy was dismissed because the elements of that charge, as defined under Oklahoma law, were not met. Dismissing this charge does not imply that the alleged actions of the defendant are legal under Oklahoma law. The dismissal implies only that the allegations do not fall under the crime that was specifically charged. That’s the prosecutor’s mistake not the judge’s mistake.
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