Your WTF of the Day

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A California appeals court, relying on an outdated statute that prohibits someone from pretending to be someone’s husband but not their boyfriend in order to obtain sex, overturned a man’s conviction for rape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?

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  • muselet

    AP via HuffPo:

    “Has the man committed rape? Because of historical anomalies in the law and the statutory definition of rape, the answer is no, even though, if the woman had been married and the man had impersonated her husband, the answer would be yes,” Judge Thomas L. Willhite Jr. wrote in the court’s decision.

    The appeals court added that prosecutors argued two theories, and it was unclear if the jury convicted Morales because the defendant tricked the victim or because sex with a sleeping person is defined as rape by law.

    The court said the case should be retried to ensure the jury’s conviction is supported by the latter argument.

    This decision wouldn’t have happened if prosecutors hadn’t decided to argue that the defendant had committed rape by impersonation, which wasn’t necessary since the victim was asleep. If anyone should be on the receiving end of some righteous wrath, it’s the LA County DA’s office—and of course a hundred years of state Legislatures—and not the court.

    The decision also urges the Legislature to examine the law, which was first written in response to cases in England that concluded fraudulent impersonation to have sex wasn’t rape because the victim would consent, even if they were being tricked into thinking the perpetrator was their husband.

    Willhite noted that the law has been applied inconsistently over the years in California.

    Yes, the mind boggles, but this was, alas, an unavoidable decision. The appeals court sent the case back to the lower court for retrial and scolded the state for not amending an 1872 law (other parts of the statute have been changed over the years). There’s not a lot else the court could have done.

    –alopecia

  • kushiro -

    Message to women: “Get hitched if you want to sleep safely.”

  • lynnnoe

    When someone crawls into bed with another person and has sex with that unconscious person, the first person is not ‘sleeping’ with the second one, regardless of gender.

    If they both were sleeping, this wouldn’t have been a problem.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gary-Jackson/1316589869 Gary Jackson

    California, including it’s courts, is ruled 100% by liberals.

    The author asks what message this sends. The message is Liberalism is not compatible with civilized society. It’s a cancer on all of humanity. Like any dangerous disease, it must be wiped from the face of the earth.

    • http://twitter.com/bubblegenius Bubble Genius

      Hi, Gary. Go fuck yourself! :)

      • gescove

        @Gary… Desperately seeking troll food.