California court: Victim wasn’t married, rape conviction reversed

On February 20, 2009, an 18-year-old woman fell asleep in her bed with her boyfriend and woke up in the dark to find herself being penetrated by another man. Yesterday, a California court reversed that the rape conviction of that man, Julio Morales, because the victim wasn’t married to her boyfriend.This is both less and more outrageous than it sounds, and gets to a legal problem beyond the disturbing particulars of this case: Whether consent under false pretenses is consent at all.Before anger rains down solely on the three-judge panel from California’s court of appeals, let’s be clear here: One, the prosecutor screwed up by misapplying California’s rape laws, and two, California’s 19th-century rape laws still on the books are partly to blame. Still, the judges chose to interpret the law as strictly as possible, reversing the entire conviction and instructing the court to retry the case on a more limited basis.Continue Reading…

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California court: Victim wasn’t married, rape conviction reversed

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