Due to an outdated law, a man is avoiding rape charges because his victim was unmarried. PHOTO: Reuters
Due to a law that ought to be corrected immediately, a man avoided three years in prison on rape charges because the woman he tricked into having sex with him by pretending to be her boyfriend was unmarried. Julio Morales managed to trick a woman who was sleeping off a night of drinking into thinking that he was her boyfriend. He initiated sex with her, sex he claimed was consensual because she was responsive. Morales was initially charged with a three year prison sentence for rape, but his conviction was overturned by a California appeals court due to a rape law written with different times and different values.
"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," wrote Thomas L. Willhite Jr. in the court's decision.
Apparently with all the other things California lawmakers have to do, no one got around to changing a law that protects married women, but treats unmarried women as though it didn't matter if they consented to sex or not.
Morales is not off the hook yet. The appeals court threw out his conviction, but recommended a retrial, and strongly urged the legislature to examine the law that defines this sort of deceptive rape as only applicable to married women.