“Sex by Deception” – Is It Rape?

Laws are seeking to shine a light on the issue of “rape by fraud.”

The New York Times – Abigail Finney was in her freshman year at Purdue University in Indiana in February 2017 when she fell asleep in her boyfriend’s dorm room.

During the night he snuggled up to her in bed in the pitch black, his hand grazing her breast, and they began having sex.

She soon stopped to go to the bathroom and, when she returned, discovered, to her horror, that it wasn’t her boyfriend who was in bed with her.

Was it rape?

Ms. Finney thought so and went to the police, who arrested Donald Grant Ward, the 19-year-old impostor.

Mr. Ward, a friend of her boyfriend’s, admitted that he knew he was tricking Ms. Finney; he was charged with two counts of rape, which carries a sentence of three to 16 years.

The Finney family connected with Joyce Short, an activist and sexual assault survivor who runs ConsentAwareness.net.

Ms. Short, 70, wants a universal law stating that consent is “freely given, knowledgeable, and informed agreement.”

This may sound obvious, but it’s actually not, because there’s no universal definition of consent in the United States. Each state defines it differently, if it defines it at all.

“Most people think all types of agreement are consent,” said Ms. Short. “They’re not.” “We Must Protect Ourselves” Rape Statistics Will Shock You

While Ms. Short does not equate trickery to obtain sex with violent rape, she does believe it should be a Class D or E felony, with jail sentences of one to four years and a fine of $10,000.

Ms. Short says there is a clear distinction between consent and assent.

“Consent means ‘freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement.’ Assent means ‘agreement on the face of it.’ So, when someone tells you a lie, you can be agreeing on the face of it but you’re not knowledgeable or informed. You can assent and agree, but that doesn’t mean you’re consenting … ” Read more. 

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