This is absolutely mind-boggling.
A California appeals court, relying on an outdated statute that prohibits someone from pretending to be someone’s husband but not their boyfriend in order to obtain sex, overturned a man’s conviction for rape because the woman he had sex with was unmarried. Under California law, rape occurs when a woman consents to sex “under the belief that the person committing the act is her husband, and this belief is induced by any artifice, pretense, or concealment practiced by the accused.” [...]
A jury convicted the defendant of rape, although it did not make clear whether he was convicted because he impersonated Jane’s boyfriend or because he had sex with a woman who could not consent to intercourse because she was asleep. Sex with an unconscious woman is rape in California when the accused rapist knows the woman is sleeping. Under the appeals court’s decision, however, obtaining consent to sex by pretending to be someone’s boyfriend is not. As the court explained, “we reluctantly hold that a person who accomplishes sexual intercourse by impersonating someone other than a married victim’s spouse is not guilty of the crime of rape of an unconscious person.”
Accomplishing sexual intercourse by “impersonating someone other than a married victim’s spouse is not guilty of the crime of rape of an unconscious person.”
The assailant admitted to the crime and a jury convicted him, but the appeals court says he isn’t guilty because the woman wasn’t married.
Repeat — the court explicitly acknowledges that he slept with an unconscious person but says he isn’t guilty of rape.
What message does this send to women in California? What message does it send to aspiring rapists?