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Rape Issues The common law treated rape as a capital crime (punishable by death). In 1977, the US Supreme Court declared the death penalty for rape unconstitutional.

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Presentation on theme: "Rape Issues The common law treated rape as a capital crime (punishable by death). In 1977, the US Supreme Court declared the death penalty for rape unconstitutional."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 10 Criminal Sexual Conduct, Assault and Battery, Kidnapping and False Imprisonment

2 Rape Issues The common law treated rape as a capital crime (punishable by death). In 1977, the US Supreme Court declared the death penalty for rape unconstitutional (on the grounds of disproportionality). Acquaintance rape (date rape) occurs when the defendant admits to sexual intercourse but claims it was consensual while the victim characterizes it as rape.

3 Symptoms of Rape Trauma
Remembering the event Strong emotions Psychological impact Physical symptoms Self-medication

4 Common Law Elements of Rape
Rape defined as the forcible carnal knowledge of a woman against her will. Vaginal intercourse required to be carried out by force or threat of severe bodily harm without victim’s consent.

5 Common Law Elements (cont.)
Prosecution required to overcome a number of hurdles under the common law to convict the defendant: Immediate complaint Corroboration rule Sexual activity Judicial instruction

6 Common Law Elements (cont.)
A victim was required to resist sexual advances to the “utmost” to establish lack of consent. Earnest resistance Reasonable resistance Resistance not required under the common law standard where a victim is incapable of understanding the nature of intercourse as a result of intoxication, sleep, or lack of consciousness. Fraud in the factum Fraud in inducement

7 Rape Reform Rape shield laws prohibit the introduction of evidence concerning a victim’s past sexual activity. Provisions of modified/reformed rape statutes: Gender neutral Marital exemption Degrees of rape Sexual intercourse Consent Coercion Rape in marriage

8 Punishment & Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is typically divided into two categories: Aggravated rape (first-degree sexual assault) Simple rape (second-degree sexual assault) Punishment options are more severe for aggravated rape.

9 Modern Rape: Actus Reus
Genital copulation Anal & oral copulation Digital penetration & penetration with an instrument as well as genital, anal, & oral sex

10 Modern Rape: Actus Reus (cont.)
How much force is required? Extrinsic force approach requires an act of force beyond the physical effort required to accomplish penetration. Intrinsic force approach requires only the amount of force necessary to achieve penetration. Commonwealth v. Berkowitz (1994) In the Interest of M.T.S. (1992)

11 Other Approaches to Modern Rape: Actus Reus
Force requirement maybe satisfied by threat of force (actual force may not be required), but: Must be threat of death or serious bodily harm Victim’s fear that the assailant will carry out threat must be reasonable Force is not required where the victim is a juvenile; in cases of statutory rape.

12 Modern Rape: Mens Rea The majority of states accept an objective test that recognizes that it is a defense to rape that the defendant honestly & reasonably believed that the victim consented. Several states do not recognize the mistake of fact defense & adhere to the view that a defendant’s belief as to a victim’s consent should not be considered in determining guilt. Equivocal conduct occurs when the victim’s non-consensual reactions were capable of being reasonably, but mistakenly interpreted by the assailant as indicating consent.


14 Statutory Rape Sexual relations with a juvenile (various age restrictions by jurisdiction) Law based on several considerations: Understanding Harmful Social values Vulnerability General rule is that statutory rape is a strict liability offense (no mens rea requirement) in which a male is guilty of rape by engaging in intercourse with an underage female.

15 Statutory Rape & the MPC
The Model Penal Code limits strict liability for statutory rape to sexual relations with a woman less than 10 years old. The MPC also punishes sexual intercourse with a woman 16 years of age or younger by a male at least four years older as the less serious offense of corruption of a minor. Garnett v. State (1993)

16 Withdrawal of Consent This type of legislation provides that a person “who initially consents to sexual penetration or sexual conduct is not deemed to have consented to any sexual penetration or sexual conduct that occurs after he/she withdraws consent during the court of that sexual penetration or conduct.” People v. John Z. (2003)

17 Rape Shield Laws Prohibit the defense from asking the victim about or introducing evidence concerning sexual relations with individuals other than the accused or introducing evidence concerning the victim’s reputation for chastity.

18 Rape Shield Laws (cont.)
These laws are based on several considerations: Harassment Relevance Prejudice Complaints Do not prohibit evidence about past sexual activity in every instance. 6th Amendment issues right to fair trial & to confront witnesses

19 10.1. You Decide: Alston Do you think that Alston was guilty of raping Brown? Provide support from the modern law of rape for your opinion. How do you think a judge or jury would decide in this case & why?

20 Assault & Battery Separate offenses
An assault may be committed either by attempting to commit a battery or by placing another in fear of a battery (does not involve physical contact). A battery is the application of force to another person. Typically merged together at prosecution & both are considered misdemeanors. Serious assaults & batteries are punished at aggravated levels.

21 The Elements of Battery
Modern battery statutes require physical contact that results in bodily injury or an offensive touching, contact likely to be regarded as offensive by a reasonable person. The Model Penal Code allows for assaults & batteries satisfying an intentional, purposeful, reckless, or negligent level of intent. Most states statutes more narrowly limit the intent required for these offenses.

22 Simple & Aggravated Battery
All batteries include an act, intent, & consent. Aggravated battery typically requires: serious injury, the use of a dangerous or deadly weapon, the intent to kill, rape, or seriously harm. Mayhem is generally defined as “malicious wounding” & is included in several state battery statutes. (ex. Bobbit)

23 Assault Aggravated Assault
Assault is committed by an attempted battery or by placing an individual in fear of a battery. Majority of jurisdictions reject that an individual may be prosecuted for an attempt to attempt a battery (e.g., attempted assault). Aggravated Assault Generally based on factors similar to those constituting an aggravated battery. Stalking is recognized in all but two states. Cyberstalking increasingly is being recognized as a criminal offense.

24 The Elements of Assault
Attempted battery assault: Intent Act Present ability Victim Assault of placing another in fear of battery: Carter v. Commonwealth (2004) Waldon v. State (1997)



27 10.2. You Decide: Chambers Did Chambers commit an assault with a deadly weapon as the prosecution contends? Why or why not? Could Chambers’ act be considered a “threatened battery” or might it be better characterized as an attempted battery? Which would be the more likely charge to result in a conviction in this case & why?

28 Kidnapping At common law, kidnapping was the forcible abduction or stealing away of a person from his/her own country & sending him/her into another country (a misdemeanor). Lindbergh baby kidnapping (1932) resulted in the Federal Kidnapping Act, the “Lindbergh Law.” This law prohibits the kidnapping & carrying away of an individual across state lines for the purpose of obtaining a ransom or reward. Excluded parents in its coverage

29 Kidnapping (cont.) In 1981, Congress passed the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (custody disputes). Congress has passed additional legislation to combat the international sexual trafficking industry: Victims of Trafficking & Violence Protection Act (2000) PROTECT Act (2003)

30 Kidnapping: Criminal Intent
Mens rea typically defined as an intent to move or to confine the victim without his/her consent. Kidnapping: Criminal Act The forcible movement of a person from one place to another—central issue is the extent of movement required. Courts require that the movement or detention of the victim must be unlawful (without the victim’s consent by force or threat of force). People v. Aguilar (2004)



33 10.3. You Decide: Goodhue For his acts, Goodhue was prosecuted & convicted of attempted sexual assault, burglary, & kidnapping. Do you agree that he kidnapped Carolyn? Why or why not? Remember to rely on the statutory considerations regarding “movement” & kidnapping when providing support for your opinion. What about the other charges? Do you agree with the other convictions? And, what about the punishment imposed? Agree or disagree, & why?

34 False Imprisonment The intentional & unlawful confinement or restraint of another person. The detention must be unlawful; without consent. Mens rea element typically described as requiring an intent to restrain the victim. Actus reus element typically described as compelling the victim to remain where he did not want to remain or to go where he did not want to go.

35 False Imprisonment (cont.)
Confinement may be achieved by physical restraint, threat of force, or without force (locking a door). Difference between kidnapping & false imprisonment is that false imprisonment does not require any movement. False imprisonment requires a detention that may take place in public or in the privacy of a home & may be for a brief or lengthy period.



38 Key Issues Rape Assault & Battery Kidnapping False Imprisonment
Common law, elements, reform, punishment, statutory rape, withdrawal of consent, rape shield laws Assault & Battery Elements, simple & aggravated status, mayhem, stalking & cyberstalking Kidnapping Lindbergh Law, recent legislation, elements False Imprisonment Elements & issues

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