Why am I Being Charged with Date Rape?

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Because of the nature of date rape, it can actually occur and the perpetrator be unaware of having done something amiss. This is not to say that there are no predators that knowingly sexually assault and/or take advantage of those they are acquainted with that commit date rape. It has much in common with sexual assault where a stranger rapes an unwilling victim, but because of the factors of familiarity involved it is easy for it to become a confused, even difficult accusation to define.

Date Rape

Date rape is generally defined as a sexual act forced on another during a voluntary social engagement which is against the will of the person who in an attempt to stop it puts up some sort of resistance.  There is no defense in the fact that they start off being together voluntarily, nor is the fact that they are acquainted; not even if they have had sexual relations prior to the event in question.  None of these reasons are sufficient for excusing the act of date rape.

In some cases, the victim of date rape may not have to actually reject the accuser's advances nor even physically demonstrate a desire to refrain from sexual contact. Most laws find that if a victim is intoxicated due to drugs or alcohol she is not capable of giving consent, thereby making any sexual contact at this point date rape.  Drugs such as rohypnol, also called roofies, ketamine, and gamma-hydrozybutyrate, GHB, have further complicated the issue.  These drugs can be given the victim without their knowledge, making them compliant, unaware, even unconscious (and in some cases dead).  Under such circumstances it is impossible for consent to be given.

Because it is possible to not fully understand, under certain circumstances that leads to an intimate level of contact that a denial of sexual contact has been given, or that consent itself was not given or implied, that one might not be aware, after the fact, that they have committed date rape.  In many cases it becomes a he-said, she-said argument which is difficult to determine the truth of from a legal standpoint.

From another point of view, however, date rape is considered the most common form of rape.  It is also, however, considered the most common form of sexual assault to go unreported.  Perhaps this is due to the possible ambiguities that can occur under certain circumstances.

False Accusations

Not all those charged with date rape are guilty of the crime. Date rape is a powerful accusation, and if one is found guilty, has permanent and devastating consequences. Because of the harm it can cause another, there are many reasons an individual might falsely make such a charge.

The most common false allegations of date rape are due to the accuser:

  1. Catching the accused cheating on them with another
  2. Feeling remorse for the sexual contact that followed a night of drinking
  3. Having a mental disorder or a history of mental health issues.
  4. Having taken illegal drugs with alcohol causing memory uncertainty
  5. Having an emotionally (or some other) perceived reason for vengeance on the accused

Rape Shield 

Many states have what is called a "Rape Shield" law.  This law limits or completely prohibits the defense in a date rape case to question the accuser about her past sexual history.  Some who find themselves accused of date rape look back on prior sexual experiences with their accuser and conclude that it is a defense.  This is not true in most cases, nor is the reputation of the accuser being sexually indiscriminant a point of fact which can defend you. Questions that go to the accuser's history are considered irrelevant because the charge is about the particular act ot sexual contact only.  In some cases where the accused has had a past relationship with the accuser, he may bring this to the attention of the judge and he may, at his discretion, allow evidence of this nature into a trial. 

Contact a Legal Expert

When accused of something as serious as sexual assault/date rape, it is always in your best interest to employ the services of a competent attorney.  Whether guilty or not, the accusation is powerful and the consequences are equally strong.  To protect your reputation as well as your freedom, you will want to contact an attorney immediately.

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