SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.
-- A California Court Of Appeals overturned a rape conviction for a man because
the woman he allegedly attacked, wasn't married.
The law was written in 1872 and
creates a loophole. Under this law, a suspect is only guilty of rape if the
victim is married and the perpetrator is pretending to be the spouse but in
this case the perpetrator was pretending to be the victim's boyfriend.
"It can feel like a slap in the
face," says Jesse Torrey of the San Luis Obispo Sexual Assault
Recovery & Prevention. "To see where a conviction was successfully reached
and to have it overturned on a technicality is
So devastating San Luis Obispo Assemblyman
Katcho Achadjian introduced a bill back in 2011 extending the rape law to cover
"If you're raped, this law rapes
you for the second time," says Achadjian. "It's not enough you are raped
physically but we don't have any protection for you."
That pushed Achadjian to push legislation to amend the law,
after a woman was raped in Santa Barbara County when a man broke into her home
while she slept.
The bill was approved by the Assembly but stalled in the Senate.
And rape crisis advocates say this law sets dangerous precedent
for future cases.
"The fact that somebody can get off on a technicality and these
laws from the 1800s are deciding there's a difference between married and
unmarried women with regard to sexual assault give perpetrators the idea that
this isn't a serious crime as it is."
California isn't the only one. A similar law in Idaho prevented
an unmarried woman from pressing rape charges after being tricked into sex with
a stranger but Idaho has since amended that law.
The bill will have to go through the Assembly and Senate once
again for approval but Assemblyman Achadjian hopes to have a final vote by
Thursday, May 23 2013 1:29 AM EDT2013-05-23 05:29:02 GMT
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