Sunday, January 06, 2013

Law links marriage to rape accusation

AP reports on the latest feminist outrage at our laws:
An appellate court ruling overturning a rape conviction because the victim wasn't married prompted anger Friday from women's groups and a state legislator who plans to introduce a bill that would close the legal loophole.

In its ruling, California's 2nd District Court of Appeal reluctantly concluded that Julio Morales hadn't raped an 18-year-old because a state law crafted in the 1870s says a person who gets consent for sex by pretending to be someone else is only guilty of rape if the victim is married and the perpetrator is pretending to be the spouse. In this case, Morales apparently pretended to be the teen's boyfriend, and she didn't recognize otherwise until seeing him in the light.

The court urged the Legislature to update the law, and state Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, said Friday that he would introduce a bill.
At the risk of alienating more readers than I usually do, I am giving a rationale for that 1870s law.

It is very difficult to trick a chaste woman into sexual relations. If she only has sex if she is married, and only then with her husband, then about the only want to trick her is for a man to pretend be her husband. In that case, a serious crime has been committed.

If a loose woman has a habit of having sexual relations with strangers, then it is often extremely difficult for some later court to determine with she had properly consented. It is even more difficult if the she admits that she consented, but claimed that the man used some sort of trickery.

UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh explains some of the legal and practical difficulties:
I’m not a fan of allowing general “rape by fraud” prosecutions (see here for some interesting examples from Israel), largely because it would open the door to criminalizing a wide range of lies, whether about fidelity, past sexual partners, wealth, love, and so on, used to get sex. I explain some of my thinking on that here, though I acknowledge that the problem is not an easy one: ...
At some point you have to realize that the court cannot correct every injustice. Changing this law will open a lot of men up to false rape accusations.

The above case is contrived to make a point, but the man is not going free. He is going to be tried again, and he will probably be convicted again.

Marriage used to have a privileged status under the law. The above 1870s law was just a small and trivial example. Feminists, liberals, and other anti-family movements have systematically abolished most such laws, and now they will abolish another. The net result of all these changes is that traditional legal marriage and family have been abolished.

When the legislature gets a bill to repeal this law, I am sure it will pass. People will say: How could this bill hurt anyone family? If it helps send a rapist to prison, that is a good thing.

No, it is not a good thing. This man is going to prison anyway. They probably will not even consider all the problems that Volokh raises. And they sure won't consider the damage to marriage.

Nobody is going to tell that 18yo girl that if she wants to have an exclusive sexual relationship with a guy, then she needs a ring on her finger. Those days are gone. So now most births to young women are out of wedlock, and millions of kids are growing up without dads.

It was perfectly reasonable for the govt to issue marriage certificates as the way for girls to register the exclusivity of their sexual relations. Otherwise they are on their own to positively identify the men they choose to sleep with.

Some readers wonder why I post on these issues that do not directly involve the family court. The answer is that I have become convinced that the problems of the family court run much deeper than incompetent judges and evaluators. There are laws, ideologies, and social forces that help create some of the problems that the family courts handle so poorly.


Anonymous said...

So I guess young women should marry to avoid being raped ?

Jews, Gays, women and communists don't pass the laws, majorities in Congess do, and these groups combined don't make up a majority.

George said...

No, rape of women is illegal whether they are married or not.

Jews, gays, and commies are small minorities. Women voters have a majority.

Anonymous said...

Men, clearly, do need protection, both from their own stupidity and
from their susceptibility to female beauty. Indeed, one of the best laws
ever passed by men, one of the few which male legislators have passed
in the male interest, was an Act of the British Parliament of 1770. It

All women, ofwhatever age, rank, profession or degree ,:"ho
shall after this Act, impose upon, seduce, and betray into
marriage any of His Majesty's subjects by virtue of scents,
paints, cosmetic washes, artificial teeth or false hair, iron
stays, bolstered hips, or high-heeled shoes, shall incur the
penalty of the law now in force against witchcraft and like
misdemeanours; and marriage under such circumstances,
upon conviction of the offending parties, shall be null and

(copied from a pdf, bad spacing)

excerpt from Anatomy of Female Power, Chinweizu

George said...

Thanks. That's a good one. Since that was before the American Revolution, it should have applied in the 13 colonies also. No mention of it in the Declaration of Independence.

Anonymous said...

Sure, you want to bring back laws like withcraft.

Anonymous said...

The AP report is amazingly biased. Just look at the lead paragraph:

"overturning a rape conviction because the victim wasn't married."

That's complete BS. The rape conviction wasn't overturned because the victim wasn't married, the conviction was overturned because it wasn't rape.

The meddling legislator who wants to repeal this law isn't going to prosecute more "rapists." He's going to make married women easier to "rape."

I use scare quotes because I don't think lying to women to have sex with them is rape.

George said...

You're right, the story is inaccurate. It would have been more accurate to say "overturning a rape conviction because the prosecutor failed to prove the necessary lack of consent."