Do we know yet whether the state will appeal this decision?


HF: Do you have the statutory cite for the definition of sexual assault/rape in Maryland? As I said in the comment to Feministing's post on the subject, I think the deficiency is in that "sexual assault," at least in Texas, is defined by the initial penetration. So there's no un-ringing of the bell one way or the another (withdrawing or giving consent). Of course, this is an antiquated concept, but one solved by amending the Penal Codes of the respective states.


I'll comment here, even though I commented at Feministing and I think my comments were misunderstood. . .

I find it hard to believe that this isn't legally some crime even if it doesn't meet the legal definition of rape ...

The Happy Feminist

Chipmunk, The news report cited at Feministing didn't indicate whether the state plans to appeal. It did say:

Montgomery Delegate Jean Cryor said the Women's Caucus of the General Assembly would likely examine the decision during the next legislative session.

So I am optimistic that there will be a legislative solution.

The Happy Feminist

Norbizness, I don't have the Maryland rape statute handy or the cite. I don't believe the court discussed the statutory rape definition in its decision.

The Happy Feminist

Liz, consent and the law surrounding it provides an absolute defense to alleged crimes involving sexual penetration. So no, there is no other offense here that would apply. The court's ruling essentially means that it is currently legal in Maryland for a man to keep having sex with a woman who has consented but is now begging him to stop and trying to push him away.

(I should note that rape is not always man-on-woman. I use those descriptors to describe the typical scenario and the scenario that was at issue in the ruling.)


"Bound by dicta"? Yahuh.

I suspect that the court was using the case to send a message that the law needs to be changed. Too bad for the victim.


Liz: I don't know if there is a lesser-included offense (assault?) or whether the defendant in this case was indicted on it. Not to be coy, but I read enough legal cases in a given day that the "page 1 of 51" sign on the bottom of the .pdf document gave me pause.


Here's the cite for first degree rape: Md. CRIMINAL LAW Code Ann. ยง 3-303. Subtitle 3 basically covers all of the sexual offenses.

Maryland's definition of rape refers to "vaginal intercourse". Sexual offense refers to a sexual act which means "any of the following acts, regardless of whether semen is emitted: (i) analingus; (ii) cunnilingus; (iii) fellatio; (iv) anal intercourse, including penetration, however slight, of the anus; or(v) an act: 1. in which an object penetrates, however slightly, into another individual's genital opening or anus; and 2. that can reasonably be construed to be for sexual arousal or gratification, or for the abuse of either party."

And I don't think that the court was trying to send a message. The judges on this case were all males and include a retired judge who served from 1970-2000, and was brought back for this case.


It appears as though Maryland's rape law is as bog-standard as rape laws get -- it looks like it was based on the same model legislation as our revised rape laws in Washington. Other than the nasty case law in Maryland, though, it looks as though this is something that could happen in any state.

-- ACS

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