Thursday, April 17, 2008

Maryland Top Court Rules That Not Stopping When Consent Is Revoked Is Rape

I'm thrilled that this ruling was made so that in Maryland at least the withdrawal of consent must be respected. This legal acceptance of a person's right to withdraw sexual consent needs to happen in every jurisdiction.

This ruling overturns a Maryland appeals court which ruled in 2006 that the crime of rape is only in the process of nonconsensual entry because that is the only damage done by rape. This makes as much sense as saying that if you allow someone in your home then you have no legal right to restrict what they do within your home and you have no legal right to ask that person to leave immediately.

I blogged about this case last year in relation to reactions to a Time Magazine article about the topic of which US states view the disregard of withdrawal of consent as a sex crime.

Here's part of the Baltimore Sun story about this ruling and the associated rape case:

Montgomery County police had charged [Maouloud] Baby with rape after a Dec. 13, 2003, incident in which he and a friend, both high school students, had sex with a community college student in an isolated school parking lot.

Baby, then 16, and Michael Wilson, 15, groped the woman and made sexual advances on her, according to police. First, Wilson had sex with the woman while Baby was outside the car. Then, police said, Baby told her it was his turn.

"[So] are you going to let me hit it?" he said, according to police. "I don't want to rape you."

Wilson pleaded guilty to 2nd degree rape so "First, Wilson had sex with the woman ..." should be "First, Wilson raped the woman ..." That makes Baby's statement a declaration that a second rape was about to happen. The question is not one of consent, but one of physical struggle. Either way he intended to rape her. The only choice she had was how to respond to this upcoming rape.

This is no different from any crime where the criminal gives the victim a choice of "cooperate or else." In no other crime would so many people view the response of "cooperate" as proof that no crime was committed.

Hat tip: SAFER

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:57 AM   0 comments links to this post

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