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Oklahoma colleges are no longer safe for your children-- they legalized sexual assault

CaliCashCaliCash 2759 replies69 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,828 Senior Member
edited April 2016 in Parents Forum
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/27/oral-sex-rape-ruling-tulsa-oklahoma-alcohol-consent?CMP=twt_gu
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appeals court, is sparking outrage among critics who say the judicial system was engaged in victim-blaming and buying outdated notions about rape.

But legal experts and victims’ advocates said they viewed the ruling as a sign of something larger: the troubling gaps that still exist between the nation’s patchwork of laws and evolving ideas about rape and consent.

I read this maybe three times over to see whether or not I was missing something. I was STUNNED when I saw this. How does this in anyway makes sense? Forcible penetrative sex is illegal when someone is incapacitated from alcohol, but oral sex isn't? You can just force yourself into someone's mouth when they are passed out with no penalty? There are few stories out there that make actually outraged and not just online outrages. This is truly disgraceful. Something needs to be done to change this.

I wonder how universities will use this in the student conduct policies. This ruling just legalized a form of sexual assault.
edited April 2016
33 replies
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Replies to: Oklahoma colleges are no longer safe for your children-- they legalized sexual assault

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22106 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,120 Senior Member
    Yes, it states that there is a hole in the Oklahoma criminal statutes. The prosecutor also could have charged the wrong crime.


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  • millie210millie210 524 replies24 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 548 Member
    I'd hope the legislature would be properly appalled and would leap to change the law ASAP. But I won't hold my breath.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22106 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,120 Senior Member
    It might be too late for the legislature this year. Most are at the end of their sessions.
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  • CaliCashCaliCash 2759 replies69 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,828 Senior Member
    @romanigypsyeyes Couldn't they have used this as an opportunity to change the law?
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22106 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,120 Senior Member
    Could the court change the law? Courts at the lower levels are to enforce the laws, not make new ones.

    What if you were charged with something that wasn't against the law but the judge thought should be? Would you be okay with the court changing the law?
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 32708 replies350 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 33,058 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    Courts can't change the the law, they interpret it. They did not legalize, per se, they cited a gap.

    There will either be another relevant law to use or in some cases, federal law can trump.

    NYT: "...reasoning that the state’s statute on the use of force was silent on the issue of incapacitation due to alcohol intoxication." The reset of this article adds a bit. http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/04/28/oklahoma-court-oral-sex-does-not-constitute-rape-when-victim-is-unconscious/

    Yes, OK will need to update the laws.
    edited April 2016
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  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes 33172 replies767 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 33,939 Senior Member
    @CaliCash as others have pointed out... no.
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  • CaliCashCaliCash 2759 replies69 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,828 Senior Member
    @twoinanddone For me, this isn't an indictment against the court that made the decision as much as it is an indictment that the law allows this period. The fact that someone can shove themselves inside of someone's mouth without any penalty is really mindboggling to me.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 32708 replies350 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 33,058 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    Ok, we get the graphics. You said they "legalized sexual assault" and that's not technically what happened, nor the end of it. There will be interim ways to penalize. Sexual assault is something we've been over and over on CC and no one should just make assumptions based on one slice.

    Technically, the law does not "allow this." But it does not currently provide grounds for charging him with "forcible sodomy." And OK will have to conform to fed laws.
    edited April 2016
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  • CaliCashCaliCash 2759 replies69 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,828 Senior Member
    @lookingforward They just let a ton of people know what they can get away with, coming to the decision that there is no penalty for doing that. That's the equivalent of legalizing it. I'm not sure what assumptions you're talking about, but I'm interested in the ramifications of this specific decision, not sexual assault in general.
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  • dadoftwingirlsdadoftwingirls 738 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 752 Member
    Laws don't always keep up with changes in technology or every possible variation in one particular crime.

    Remember when Google glasses came out and states were trying to pass laws to keep up. Even then with the new laws, some were thrown out by the courts.

    It isn't until a court case like this happens that a shortcoming in the law is seen.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 32708 replies350 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 33,058 Senior Member
    No,they just let a ton of people (including prosecutors) know they cannot be charged specifically with "forcible sodomy" under these circumstances. That does not preclude charging them under another law and seeing it stick.

    The issue is another crime may have a lighter penalty. But that's different than saying it's now legal.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22106 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,120 Senior Member
    The DA may also have charged the defendant with the 'wrong' crime. The charge may have been rape, and rape may be defined in a very specific way that the facts of this case did not meet. It's not that this isn't a crime, it's that it isn't rape AS DEFINED in the statute. This might be assault, battery, sexual battery, sexual assault, but not rape as defined.

    It happens all the time in criminal cases. Some states allow the DA to charge with the highest level of a crime, and then have 'lesser includes.' Some states allow the defendant to exclude the lesser includes. If the defendant is charged with first degree murder but the DA doesn't prove that the defendant pre-planned the murder, in some states the defendant can be. convicted of second degree murder or even manslaughter, but in other states it is all or nothing, first degree or walk free
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  • HRSMomHRSMom 4605 replies50 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,655 Senior Member
    It fits the definition of battery. Not much time for that, but it fits.
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  • TorveauxTorveaux 1451 replies10 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,461 Senior Member
    I guess the headline of this thread is tantamount to the same thing. Completely distorting the truth to get a point across. Laws have meanings. The court cannot and should not be in the business of legislating. There were other options to charge and they were not taken. The law could be amended to include additional things if that is the will of the people.

    BTW, very few children attend colleges. Most are adults.
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  • sseamomsseamom 4880 replies25 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,905 Senior Member
    @katliamom exactly. A friend of mine lives in OK and has been working on several related issues. They get a lot of pushback, but at least they're getting the word out. How heartbreaking, though, about the story in the OP.
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  • ConsolationConsolation 22859 replies184 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 23,043 Senior Member
    Great news for Oklahoma rapists: just render her unconscious and you can do whatever you want with impunity!
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  • LasMaLasMa 10768 replies138 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10,906 Senior Member
    Another state for the boycott list.
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