Oral Sex is Not Rape if Victim is Unconscious, Rules Oklahoma

An Oklahoma court has just upheld a ruling not to bring the charges of “forcible sodomy” against an accused teenaged boy because the victim was drunk at the time. Yes, it is 2016 and you heard that right.

Basically, you could be drunk and orally raped in Oklahoma and there would be no legal repercussion in the way of forced oral rape laws.

The ruling stems from a 2014 case, where a 16-year-old girl said she had been sexually assaulted by a schoolmate after drinking and smoking marijuana in a Tulsa park. After the girl became too drunk and therefore unable to walk; her blood-alcohol level was later found to be four times the legal limit to drive, two friends carried her to her assailant’s car, who allegedly forced her to perform oral sex.

The alleged perpetrator, the teenaged boy, initially told police that the sex act was consensual, but the girl told them that she had no memory of it.

The then-17-year-old boy was charged with first-degree rape and forcible oral sodomy, according to Oklahoma Watch, a nonprofit investigative journalism body that’s been following the case. The rape charge was later dropped due to lack of evidence.

A district court dismissed the forcible oral rape charge based on the wording of the state’s forcible sodomy law. The ‘forcible oral rape’ law is distinct from the laws for rape, which is defined in the state as a forced act of “sexual intercourse involving vaginal or anal penetration.” The ruling was appealed to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, which upheld the lower court’s decision.

The court removed the charge because unconsciousness and intoxication are not mentioned in the state’s forcible sodomy law.

The appeals court states that it upheld the earlier ruling because to do otherwise would, in effect, be rewriting the law to fit the case in question. “We will not, in order to justify prosecution of a person for an offense, enlarge a statute beyond the fair meaning of its language,” it said.

 State Rep. Scott Biggs, who originally co-sponsored the initial bill, announced plans to amend the “legislation to define forcible sodomy in a way that includes unconscious victims,” as stated by his office in a statement.

“If they need more clarification, we are happy to give it to them by fixing the statute,” Biggs quoted. “I am horrified by the idea that we would allow these depraved rapists to face a lower charge simply because the victim is unconscious.”

Shannon McMurray, an attorney for the defendant, told Oklahoma Watch she thought prosecutors handled the case poorly.

 

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